ENDS Report Issue 556, July 2021

Big schemes can’t fall through the net

Jamie Carpenter, editor, ENDS Report

The government says the duty on developers to provide a 10% biodiversity net gain will deliver more nature and more development. But will it?

Chemical risks and hazards

Interview: Professor Shanna Swan on why man-made chemicals threaten the future of the human race

Professor Shanna Swan made international headlines by linking chemicals in plastics and pesticides to tumbling fertility rates, arguing that everyday chemicals are imperiling the future of the human race. She talks to ENDS about her incredible journey of discovery and why she’s worried about what paracetamol might be doing to unborn babies

The key deadlines and policy changes to expect this summer

Risk review – third quarter, 2021: The most important prosecutions and court rulings of the past three months and the key compliance deadlines and policy changes to expect in the near future

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Regulation

Covid-19: The changes to regulation that will outlast the pandemic

Environmental regulators swiftly adapted the way they work in response to the Covid crisis, embracing technology and planting the seed that some of the new approaches pioneered during the pandemic would stick around and make regulation stronger. With normal times seemingly within reach, what can we expect from regulators in a post-pandemic world?

Enforcement

Infographic: Focus on enforcement undertakings

More than £20m has been paid out to good causes since enforcement undertakings were introduced as a tool to tackle environmental offences in England more than 10 years ago, an analysis of Environment Agency data reveals.

Policy

Habitats Regulations: What plans to ‘refocus’ nature rules could mean for EU-derived case law

The environment secretary says his plan to ‘refocus’ the Habitats Regulations is intended to deliver creative public policy thinking that delivers results, ‘rather than relying on change being set principally by litigation and case law’. Could recent case law that poses potential problems for the government’s housebuilding agenda be in his sights?

Air

Data check: Global CO2 levels show little Covid impact

Although the UK’s emissions dropped markedly last year due to the pandemic, scientists have found “no discernible signal” of Covid-19’s global impact in reducing carbon emissions

Policy

Sixth carbon budget signals acceleration to net zero

The government has committed the UK to reducing its emissions by 78% by 2035 compared with 1990 levels, with the target set to be enshrined in law. So what next?

Shell ruling pushes the boundary of climate law

Ned Westaway: The case is a reminder that climate change is in a very real sense a new world, and legal norms may simply have to change if society has any prospect of avoiding its worst effects

Water quality

The debrief: How an urban wetland project is cleaning up a notorious London river

The construction of a wetlands in north London is helping to keep nutrients out of polluted waterways that feed into the river Lea, as well as providing biodiversity and social gains, thanks to funding from a global drinks giant

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