ENDS Report Issue 549, December 2020

Brexit Hub Environmental Law

A tighter leash for the green watchdog?

A tighter leash for the green watchdog?

Campaigners and green professionals fear recent amendments to the Environment Bill threaten to curb the Office for Environmental Protection's powers before it is even been established

Brexit Hub Regulation

'The dirty man of Europe': where green rules could diverge after Brexit

'The dirty man of Europe': where green rules could diverge after Brexit

On 31 December, the Brexit transition period will end and the UK will leave the customs union and single market. The stage is set for the UK to diverge from European environmental regulations, but are some rules more at risk than others?

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Land, Ecology & Development

'National embarrassment': Will COP26 strengthen the government's resolve on peat?

One year after the Tories pledged to ban the deliberate burning of blanket bog, no such ban has been forthcoming and its long-awaited peat strategy remains unpublished. As it prepares to host next year's global climate talks, can the government get the UK's peat plans back on track?

Contaminated land

Policy briefing: Get ready for new land contamination risk management rules

All parties involved in managing land contamination risks in England have new official guidance that focuses on demonstrating competence and embedding sustainability

Biodiversity / conservation

The net gain gold mine

The Environment Bill’s biodiversity net gain measure will create a market worth hundreds of millions of pounds annually, with the government’s goal of building 300,000 homes a year likely to necessitate the creation of thousands of hectares of offsets. Here’s how net gain is about to become big business

Waste

Is Brexit an opportunity to redefine waste?

Another ‘is it waste?’ judgment from the European Court of Justice demonstrates the ongoing challenges for operators and regulators in interpreting EU waste law, and again highlights the inherent tension between protecting the environment and allowing materials back into the ‘circular economy'

Interview: What Jolyon Maugham QC thinks about taking on polluters and holding the government to account

‘Rich remoaner lawyer’ Jolyon Maugham QC, founder of the Good Law Project and bête noire to the government, talks to ENDS about using litigation to influence politics, suing water firms for sewage pollution and being savaged on Twitter

Planning & land use

The debrief: How a farm is helping to offset nitrate pollution in a European protected site

Concerns over nitrate pollution from new housing developments have blocked planning consents for thousands of homes, but the purchase of a farm on the Isle of Wight offers a solution to the problem while creating new habitats

Climate change

Data check: The Arctic's long summer

A record-breaking heatwave in Siberia earlier this year has meant the Arctic's sea ice freeze has had a later start than usual

Waste water & sewage

Focus on: Covid-19 surveillance

Scientists in Scotland have been using water samples to get a head start on the coronavirus pandemic

Environmental Politics

5 things you need to know about the Natural Capital Committee's latest report

The NCC’s latest report was published in November. Here are the key takeaway points

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