In a hurry? Monday's environment news in 60 seconds

A round-up of the top stories this morning from ENDS and elsewhere, including what the weekend newspapers tell us about what to expect from the much-anticipated net zero and heat and building strategies, expected to be published this week.

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EA permit ends wetland restoration dispute with Natural England

The Environment Agency has granted an environmental permit for a key aspect of Natural England’s disputed plans to clean up a polluted Norfolk lake, but its decision could be subject to renewed legal action by anglers. MORE

COP15: ‘Significant part’ of increased UK climate funding to go towards biodiversity

The UK government will direct a 'significant part of its increased climate funding' towards tackling the biodiversity crisis, it has been announced following the conclusion of this week’s UN biodiversity talks. MORE

Environment Agency to impose ‘miserly’ pay deal

The Environment Agency has confirmed that it will impose a pay deal on staff which has been rejected by three unions, with one saying 'staff may now simply walk away'. MORE

Give chalk streams enhanced environmental status, government urged

An independent group set up last year by the government to protect and restore England’s rare chalk streams has called for the water bodies to be given enhanced environmental status. MORE

Urban wood burning faces minimal enforcement

Air pollution campaign group Mums for Lungs has called for a ban on wood burning stoves, a growing source of air pollution, after an analysis found that complaints about wood smoke have about a one in a thousand chance of leading to a fine. MORE

In other news...

UK to put nuclear power at heart of net zero emissions strategy

UK ministers will put nuclear power at the heart of Britain’s strategy to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050 in government documents expected as early as next week, alongside fresh details of its funding model, the Financial Times (subscription required) reports. According to the newspaper, Kwasi Kwarteng, business secretary, is to unveil an overarching “Net Zero Strategy” paper as soon as Monday, along with a “Heat and Building Strategy” and a Treasury assessment of the cost of reaching the 2050 goal. MORE

Pledge to slash cost of green heat pump

Ministers will pledge to bring down the cost of a heat pump to that of a new gas boiler by the end of the decade, as part of efforts to decarbonise home heating, The Times (subscription required) reports. According to the newspaper, the promise is expected to be included in the government’s heat and buildings strategy to be published by ministers on Monday. MORE

Leak reveals net zero rift between PM and chancellor

Documents leaked to the Observer reveal an extraordinary rift between Boris Johnson and his chancellor, Rishi Sunak, over the potential economic effects of moving towards a zero-carbon economy, with just weeks to go before the crucial Cop26 climate summit. According to the newspaper, the documents show the Treasury is warning of serious economic damage to the UK economy and future tax rises if the UK overspends on, or misdirects, green investment. MORE

UK to push plan to ‘halt and reverse global deforestation by 2030’ at COP26

The UK government is pushing for an ambitious agreement among world leaders at COP26 to halt and reverse forest loss and degradation, the Guardian reports. Big producers and consumers of deforestation-linked commodities such as soya, cocoa, coffee and palm oil have been asked to commit to halting land clearances, the second largest source of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, according to the newspaper. MORE

COP26 corporate sponsors condemn climate summit as ‘mismanaged’

Companies that stumped up millions of pounds to sponsor the COP26 climate summit have condemned it as “mismanaged” and “very last minute” in a volley of complaints as next month’s event in Glasgow draws near, according to the Guardian. The newspaper reports that the sponsors, which include some of Britain’s biggest companies, have raised formal complaints blaming “very inexperienced” civil servants for delayed decisions, poor communication and a breakdown in relations between the organisers and firms in the run-up to the landmark talks. MORE

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