ENDS Report Issue 538, January 2020

Brexit Hub Environmental Politics

Tory landslide offers an open green goal

Tory landslide offers an open green goal

Johnson has an “oven-ready” Environment Bill to bring before MPs and must get on track to delivering net-zero emissions. There’s no time for dither and delay

Environmental Law

The 8th deadly sin: how a campaign to establish a global law of ecocide is gathering momentum

The 8th deadly sin: how a campaign to establish a global law of ecocide is gathering momentum

Spurred on by deforestation in the Amazon, campaigners are calling for systematic environmental destruction to be made an international crime. The idea is gaining traction, with Pope Francis recently proposing “sins against ecology” be added to the teachings of the Catholic Church

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Environmental Law

Environmental permitting: the sites the regulator forgot

More than 1,600 permitted sites in England have not been inspected for at least three years, according to an analysis of Environment Agency data, while other sites have faced multiple checks in a single year

Water pollution

Interview: What Surfers Against Sewage’s chief thinks about marine pollution and ‘monolithic’ water firms

Over the past 11 years, Hugo Tagholm has transformed the charity he heads from 'rickety organisation' to 'one of the leading and most authentic voices of the ocean'. But his fight to stop water companies polluting the coast is far from over

Carbon & energy efficiency

Embodied carbon: Are developers reducing the climate impacts of their buildings?

Over half of a residential block's whole-life carbon emissions are associated with its construction and the materials used. How engaged is the development industry in tackling the problem?

Industrial emissions

How can the new government help decarbonise heavy industry?

Prime minister Boris Johnson promised to make the UK the ‘greenest country on Earth’ following his party’s general election victory. But when it comes to cleaning up heavy industry, the new government has a lot of work to do, finds Simon Pickstone

Environmental Politics

Will Boris Johnson ditch EU green rules after Brexit?

With a large majority, the new Conservative government is moving full steam ahead with its plans for a hard Brexit. But does it plan to turn the UK into a ‘Singapore-on-Thames’ in the process? Simon Pickstone investigates

Environmental Law

Fact checker: Is access to justice under threat?

A Conservative pledge to rethink the judicial review process is an attempt to ‘stitch up democracy’, according to some commentators

Land, Ecology & Development

The Debrief: How a Scottish project established the case for the return of beavers

The Knapdale trial, which kicked off UK beaver reintroduction after centuries of absence, has shown the biodiversity benefits of these “ecosystem engineers” but also the need for local engagement and a strong management plan, finds Jocelyn Timperley

Environmental Law

Why an application error did not invalidate an incinerator's permit

The Court of Appeal has ruled that an environmental permit based on an application containing an error is still lawful if the mistake was not material to the decision

Climate change

Infographic: The relentless rise of carbon emissions

Atmospheric CO2 levels continue to reach new highs with no sign of a slowdown, the latest figures show

Land, Ecology & Development

5 things you need to know about wild hacking

Wildlife regulator Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has issued its first licence for wild hacking. What does the practice involve?

Carbon reporting

Policy briefing: Prepare for new rules on disclosing climate-related risks

All UK-listed companies and large asset owners will be expected to disclose climate-related risks in line with recommendations put forward by an industry-led taskforce by 2022

Planning & land use

Is the Oxford-Cambridge expressway on a road to nowhere?

Conservationists have tried and failed through the courts to have a proposed motorway link between Oxford and Cambridge blocked on environmental grounds but a review of the development now looks likely and there have been suggestions that the road will be cancelled altogether. Conor McGlone reports

Environmental Politics

‘No rules are better than bad rules’: Why COP25 ended in deadlock

The international climate conference achieved little this year, with carbon markets decisions deferred to the 2020 summit in Glasgow. Isabella Kaminski looks at what stymied the critical talks

Fines Monitor Land, Ecology & Development

How a ‘major cock-up’ led to the felling of protected trees and £420k in fines

The illegal destruction of 73 trees has shone a light on the weak protection and enforcement afforded by the Tree Preservation Order system, finds James Fair

Land, Ecology & Development

The missing lynx: Could Britain’s wildcat be brought back home?

Plans are afoot to bring the lynx back to Britain, despite the first attempt being blocked by Michael Gove and Natural England. James Fair reports

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