ENDS Report Issue 536, November 2019

Brexit Hub Environmental Politics

Could the government's claims on environmental standards be seen as fake news?

Could the government's claims on environmental standards be seen as fake news?

Despite assurances coming from the government, green campaigners and opposition MPs fear that prime minister Boris Johnson’s revised Brexit deal would allow gaps in protections to open up after the UK leaves the EU

Brexit Hub Environmental Law

Could a Trump-style rollback of green rules happen here?

Could a Trump-style rollback of green rules happen here?

Since taking office, the US president has taken a chainsaw to environmental regulations. With parts of Boris Johnson’s cabinet keen to pursue a deregulatory agenda, is there a danger the UK could follow Trump’s lead after Brexit?

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Brexit Hub Waste

Infographic: Focus on landfill’s shrinking capacity

England is running out if landfill capacity and if trends continue, landfills could be full in less than 8 years, according to the latest data

Land, Ecology & Development

Interview: What the Forestry Commission chair thinks about rewilding, invasives and growing supertrees

Sir Harry Studholme explains how the Forestry Commission is growing supertrees to help forests withstand higher temperatures and why natural capital accounting does not capture the spiritual value of nature

Water

Who’s abstracting England?

Three consecutive dry years have led to parts of the south-east suffering from the lowest groundwater levels ever recorded, with rivers struggling with their lowest flows and some stretches drying up completely. Rachel Salvidge looks at the main abstractors and what the Environment Agency is doing at the 'frontline of the climate crisis'

Sustainability

The debrief: How a Belgian cement plant is blazing a trail to net-zero emissions

The cement industry has a long journey ahead if it is to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Paris Agreement. One carbon capture demonstration project shows a possible way forward

Brexit Hub Environmental Law

Do ‘serious loopholes’ undermine DEFRA’s landmark Environment Bill?

The long-awaited Environment Bill has landed. But is it enough to quell fears that the UK is heading for a ‘dirty Brexit’? Simon Pickstone investigates

Climate change

Fact checker: Will Drax's gas conversion blow the UK’s carbon budget?

Replacing Drax’s two remaining coal units with four natural gas turbines “is asking the public to face a carbon budget blowout”, according to ClientEarth

Waste

Data check: The carbon impacts of household waste in Scotland

Recent figures from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency reveal that the carbon impact of household waste is falling while incineration levels continue to rise

Land, Ecology & Development

Phosphates crisis: How the ‘Dutch case’ is stifling housebuilding in England

A council has been forced to delay planning decisions for more than 1,000 homes due to excess phosphate levels in a protected area. James Agyepong-Parsons looks at how an EU ruling known as the 'Dutch case' is impacting development proposals in England

Contaminated land

Grenfell fire: Will a toxicology expert's resignation prompt a rethink about risk assessment?

Concerns over the government’s approach to the environmental aftermath of one of the UK’s worst modern disasters led a toxicology expert to quit an advisory panel in August. Does contamination pose an ongoing health threat?

Regulation

Why the waste exemption regime is heading for reform

There are 487,432 waste exemptions held in England with many sites holding multiple registrations. Plans to tighten up the system follow fears it is open to abuse and tricky to comply with

Environmental Law

8 environmental policy and compliance deadlines to look out for in November

Important deadlines relating to persistent organic pollutants, genetically modified organisms, planning and development frameworks, smart meters installation, marine conservation, transport strategy, and a decarbonisation fund for steel are coming up in November

Policy briefing: Get ready for new green standards for new-build homes

The government is consulting on plans to require a significant improvement in the energy performance of new homes and slash their greenhouse gas emissions

Planning & land use

Planners must consider environmental impacts

Nina Pindham: Two cases this year have indicated that widely adopted advice has contributed to decision-makers unlawfully failing to consider a development’s full environmental impacts

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