Environment Bill: Non-regression provision 'must be strengthened', say green groups

A new clause in the Environment Bill requiring ministers to make a statement concerning environmental non-regression when introducing bills has been welcomed by green groups as a 'small step forward' that does not go far enough.

The provision - set out in section 19 of the bill - means ministers introducing legislation that concerns the environment will have to present parliament with a statement to say either that they do not believe it will “have the effect of reducing the level of environmental protection”, or that they cannot provide that assurance but nevertheless wish to go ahead with the bill. 

Section 19 is one of two additions to the Environment Bill that tighten up protections on existing green rules and keep the government abreast of the latest developments in international law. 

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