The Environment Act 2021 

Everything you need to know about the Environment Act, which contains provisions intended to maintain environmental standards outside the EU, as well as improve air and water quality, tackle waste, increase recycling, halt the decline of species, and improve the natural environment.

Environmental Law

The Environment Act 2021: 45 things you need to know

The Environment Act 2021 has just become law. Photograph: Thorsten Nilson/Getty Images

After a long and tortuous journey through parliament, the government’s ‘world-leading’ Environment Bill has finally passed into law. The ENDS team has scoured the resulting legislation to bring you everything you need to know about the raft of changes that the new act will bring about... Read more


Environment Bill briefing

Numerous amendments have been made to the Environment Bill since it was first introduced. Photograph: Joe Daniel Price/Getty Images

Due to return in the next parliamentary session after its latest delay, it seems the Environment Bill will finally receive royal assent in the autumn. Since the bill was introduced, however, numerous amendments have been made and there remain a great many question marks surrounding key targets and the timetable for implementation, among other issues. Here's what you need to know... Read more

Latest news


‘An important milestone’: Green watchdog becomes legally established

The Office for Environmental Protection became legally established today, following last week’s passing of the Environment Act

Environmental Law

‘What matters now are actions’: Environment Act formally published

Green groups have responded with a mixture of relief and wariness to the publication of the Environment Act 2021

Land, Ecology & Development

Nature and the Environment Act: 10 things you need to know

The Environment Act will usher in a hard-fought-for target to halt the decline of species by 2030, but will also open the door for amendments to the Habitats Regulations which concerns some conservationists. Here’s what you need to know


Water and the Environment Act: 13 things you need to know

The battle over the inclusion of sewage pollution provisions in the Environment Act was hard fought, with the government conceding much ground, but ultimately campaigners feel the resulting legislation could have gone further. Here's what you need to know about the abstraction, pollution and water resource planning aspects of the new law


Water pollution

Interview: Rebecca Pow on the great British sewage scandal

Rebecca Pow

What the environment minister thinks about illegal river pollution, the Environment Agency's culpability and leaving water companies nowhere to hide

Environmental Law

Delay to details of OEP environmental review power

A decision on the new Office for Environmental Protection’s new power to sanction public authorities has been delayed to give government more time to consider the details

Environmental Law

Will rejecting stronger OEP independence ‘come to haunt’ MPs?

The new green watchdog will be required to heed guidance from the government, but will this hinder its ability to take robust action? Tess Colley reports

Editor's Pick

Parliament Brexit Hub

'Too much wriggle room', 'Absurd caveat' – MPs and peers set out their Environment Bill green lines

Under scrutiny: environment secretary Michael Gove’s draft Environment Bill has already led to concerns that protections will fall short of those offered by EU rules. Photograph: Ian Forsyth /Getty Images

As pre-legislative scrutiny of the draft Environment Bill gets under way, some MPs and peers have already set their own ‘green lines’. Where will the flashpoints arise?

Environmental Law

38 things you need to know about the Environment Bill

The Environment Bill sets out legally binding targets to improve the state of the natural world. Photograph: John Finney Photography/Getty Images

The landmark Environment Bill would make significant changes to laws relating to air quality, water resources, waste management, nature improvement and chemicals, and sets out how a new green watchdog would enforce environmental rules. Here’s what you need to know.

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