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The latest news and analysis for environmental professionals, covering air management, energy, land, ecology and development, environmental law, environment and sustainability management, environmental politics, products and chemicals, waste and resources and water management

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Environmental Politics

Is the UK pulling its weight to make COP15 nature’s ‘Paris moment’?

Eiffel Tower, Paris

The UK will attend the major UN biodiversity summit COP15 later this year, leading a group of countries aiming to see the ambition to protect 30% of land and sea for nature by 2030 adopted in a global pact. But with negotiators dragging their heels can the summit still be nature’s ‘Paris moment’? Tess Colley reports... Read more

Latest news

Water

‘Deeply concerning’: Drought declared in eight areas in England

Drought status has officially been declared by the Environment Agency in eight areas of England after much speculation over the past week

Policy

Green light for OEP in DEFRA review amid calls for future appraisals to seek external evidence

The first DEFRA review of the Office for Environmental Protection has found the watchdog in 'good health', but green groups have urged that future reviews 'must seek evidence from outside government'

Enforcement

Former company director fined £11,200 for exporting banned waste

The Environment Agency has prosecuted an ex-company director for illegally exporting household waste including nappies, textiles and electrical items to Indonesia

Oil

Supreme Court grants permission to appeal in legal battle over new oil drilling in Surrey Hills

The Supreme Court will consider whether emissions from the downstream use of fossil fuels should be the subject of environmental impact assessment after it granted permission to appeal in a controversial case over new oil drilling near the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Waste water & sewage

Plans to reduce sewage in rivers due ‘shortly’, DEFRA says

The government will publish its plan to reduce discharges from storm overflows 'shortly', DEFRA has said, following press reports that the strategy has been delayed

Latest analysis

Regulation

The Dirty Man of Europe: Is the UK on a course to reprise its former title?

An overflowing sewer. Photograph: Getty Images

In his book, The Dirty Man of Europe, Chris Rose detailed the ecological misrule of Britain in the 1980s. Without pressure from Europe, he wrote, it is difficult to see how the country would have made any environmental progress in that period. Now the UK has left the EU, could we see a reprise of the unenviable title once again?

Land, Ecology & Development

The debrief: How the Greater Manchester Authority mapped the natural habitat on its doorstep

Shot of one of Greater Manchester's 'opportunity maps' for nature recovery. Image: GMCA

A government-funded pilot project in Greater Manchester has seen the creation of a new suite of maps and nature recovery priorities ahead of the roll-out of a legal requirement for all councils to have local nature recovery strategies

Waste

Burning questions: Is time running out again for Scotland’s landfill ban?

Bin full of household waste

Almost three years on from Holyrood’s decision to delay its ban on household biodegradable waste being sent to landfill, there is little certainty among experts that the new target of 2025 is achievable, writes David Burrows

Environmental Law

Could the UK legislate for a right to a healthy environment?

Car driving along a road at South Gare away from the now defunct steel works

In an unprecedented move last month, the UN voted in favour of a motion declaring that a healthy environment was a human right. In the wake of the ruling, could we see the UK embed such a right into its own laws, asks Isabella Kaminski

Back from extinction: How new legislation could pave the way for England’s wild beavers

Beaver at Hatchmere Nature Reserve, credit Cheshire Wildlife Trust

Earlier this month, DEFRA confirmed that beavers are officially a native species in England, meaning they are now entitled to a suite of legal protections. Pippa Neill explores how we got here and how a species, which was once hunted to extinction, could transform the country’s waterways

Environmental Politics

ECO CHAMBER PODCAST SPECIAL: Feargal's fury, beaver fever and heatwave hellscapes

Podcast icon

This specially extended episode features former Undertones frontman and keen angler Feargal Sharkey on who's to blame for the dismal state of England's rivers. The ENDS Report team also examines why the government has ditched two-thirds of its nature indicators this year, why England is heading for drought, why things are looking bright for beavers, and how the EU plans to monitor its environmental progress

Environmental Politics

Green tape and red meat: Would Sunak or Truss be better for the environment?

Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak at the BBC debate

Neither Liz Truss nor Rishi Sunak are known to be environmental champions and both have expressed a desire to tear away green protections to impress the party faithful, so who would best protect nature and climate? James Fair reports

Policy

Interview: NFU president Minette Batters on why we’re all complicit in farm pollution

Minette Batters, NFU president

The president of the UK farming association speaks to ENDS about why farmers should not face prosecution for water pollution, environmental farming reforms and how much influence the farm lobby group really has on DEFRA policy

Brexit Hub Regulation

What happens when the watchdogs attack?

Police dog barking

The Office for Environmental Protection has leapt into action following complaints that the water industry is not being regulated properly and Environmental Standards Scotland is up and running. They are nimbler but wield smaller sticks than the European Commission so can they bring public bodies to heel? asks James Fair