30 October 2019: The Genetically Modified Organisms (Deliberate Release) (Amendment) (Wales) Regulations 2019 (WSI 2019/1316) enter into force to implement new EU requirements in relation to environmental risk assessment for the release of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) for trial and commercial purposes.
31 October 2019: EU Regulation 2019/636/EU amending Annexes IV and V to the EU Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) Regulation 850/2004/EC applies in Member State law. Pentachlorophenol and its salts and esters are subject to concentration limits, in order to ensure that wastes containing pentachlorophenol are managed in accordance with the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants.
7 November 2019: The Transport (Scotland) Bill is expected to receive Royal Assent and become law. It requires the preparation of a National Transport Strategy (NTS) and sets out the framework for low emission zones (LEZs) in Scotland, as well as making provision in relation to bus services, parking and road works. Sustainable and efficient use of resources and emission reduction targets are among the considerations to be taken into account in the preparation of the NTS. Consultation on the draft NTS closed on 23 October 2019.
8 November 2019: Selected provisions of the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 are brought into force, in particular to define the purpose of planning - ‘to manage the development and use of land in the long term public interest’, which includes sustainable development - and establish the framework for preparation of the National Planning Framework (NPF) for development and use of land in Scotland.
Consultations & policy
31 October 2019: DEFRA call for evidence on introducing Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs) in England and Northern Irish offshore waters closes.
1 November 2019: Welsh government consultation on the draft National Development Framework (NDF) for Wales closes. The draft NDF sets development policies from 2020 to 2040 in respect of housing, energy, the economy, transport and the environment. These policies are articulated within eleven desired outcomes for Wales, including:
- sustainable travel, with low environmental impact and low emissions;
- sustainable management of natural resources and pollution reduction;
- biodiverse, resilient and connected ecosystems; and
- decarbonisation and climate change mitigation.
11 November 2019: BEIS consultation on the smart meter policy framework post 2020 closes. The current rollout duty for smart meter installations ends by 31 December 2020. The consultation focuses on developing a new framework, including impose a new licence obligation on energy suppliers to meet specified numbers of smart meter installations per year.
21 November 2019: BEIS call for evidence on creating a Clean Steel fund closes. The proposed £250 million Clean Steel fund would support the UK steel sector to decarbonise in a compatible way with net zero.