ENDS Report Issue 545, August 2020

Environmental Politics

In defence of EIA

In defence of EIA

The government has reiterated its promise in recent weeks to deliver a green Brexit but statements by the prime minister and environment secretary George Eustice have prompted some to question their true intentions

Water resources, efficiency

Countdown to Day Zero: what will happen when London runs out of water?

Countdown to Day Zero: what will happen when London runs out of water?

Two years ago Cape Town’s water supply was nearly shut off. Last year, Chennai officials declared 'Day Zero', with no water for eight million people. London could be next. Here's what their experiences tell us about what to expect when taps run dry

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Civil sanctions

Enforcement undertakings: Is the system being exploited by companies with deep pockets?

Over £17m has been paid out to good causes since enforcement undertakings were introduced in England a decade ago. Who has paid out the most and should they have faced prosecution instead?

Plastics

PPE: The next big single-use plastic problem

Billions of items of PPE have been procured by the UK government in response to the coronavirus pandemic, and demand is rising among the public. Many of these items will be used only once. Has Covid-19 killed off public concern and political impetus to reduce plastic pollution?

Brexit Hub Environmental Law

Has Eustice fired the starting gun on a ‘deregulatory race to the bottom’?

The environment secretary has set out plans to overhaul the EIA regime and ditch elements of EU green law, following Boris Johnson’s announcement that he intends to ‘scythe through red tape’ and build the country out of its economic slump, a move which has elicited fears for the future of green protections. Rachel Salvidge reports

Waste

Why packaging fraudsters are importing plastic waste from the Netherlands

The Environment Agency confirmed last week it was investigating PRN ‘carousel’ fraud amid renewed calls for action from the industry. Conor McGlone investigates how fraudsters are manipulating the system and what can be done about it

Access to justice

Court clarifies rights under Aarhus cost rules

A recent High Court ruling clarifies the role of interested parties, but also throws up new challenges to the convention’s aim of ensuring access to environmental justice

Planning & land use

Policy briefing: Prepare for environmental checks on lapsed planning consents

An ‘additional environmental approval’ process under a new planning bill could impose new EIA and habitats regulation assessment obligations on lapsed planning permissions

Brexit Hub Environmental Law

Will the new green watchdog be established in time?

The Environment Bill underpinning the new Office for Environmental Protection is on ice, but there are less than six months to go before the watchdog will be needed. Can DEFRA set it up in time and will it be fit for purpose? James Fair reports

Environmental Politics

Datacheck: Will Sunak's summer statement help Britain build back greener?

Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s summer statement provided a £30bn economic stimulus to help raise the UK from its Covid-19 economic doldrums. How much will go towards green goals?

Air

Infographic: Focus on cities's rebounding air pollution levels

Air pollution levels in large European cities are rebounding as coronavirus lockdown measures are eased, but remain lower than pre-Covid levels in most instances, an analysis of European Environment Agency data by ENDS indicates

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