The devolved nations and Europe

The latest news and analysis from the devolved nations and Europe, 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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Brexit Hub Environmental Politics

Will divergence in the UK have a ‘chilling effect’ on environmental standards?

The Internal Market Bill could undermine devolution and pave the way for a ‘race to the bottom’ on green standards, fear experts. David Burrows reports


‘Dealing with the harder issues’: Scotland consults on second clean air strategy

Scotland will continue to implement EU environmental regulations, prohibit the sale of coal and wet wood for home heating and apply London-style controls on emissions from construction machinery, according to a consultation


MAPPED: The UK areas that breached air pollution limits in 2019

New official figures show that three-quarters of the UK’s air quality reporting zones charted illegal levels of air pollution in 2019, according to an analysis by activist lawyers ClientEarth


Incineration vs landfill: Why the debate over carbon intensity is far from over

Energy from waste plants have long been preferred as a destination for rubbish over landfill sites, but are they really the most low carbon option? Waste management policy decisions made now will set the level of greenhouse gas impacts for the next generation, reports David Burrows



Power station environmental permits reviewed to reduce emissions

Natural Resources Wales has completed a review of the environmental permits for five large-scale power stations in a bid to drive down their emissions

Brexit Hub Legislation

Wales plans new green watchdog

The Welsh government has announced plans to establish its own green watchdog to take on the oversight functions of the European Commission, rejecting ideas that it could fall under the scope of Westminster's planned Office for Environmental Protection


New traffic speed limits halve air pollution

Air pollution along some major roads in Wales has almost halved due to the introduction of 50mph speed limits, according to reports

Water pollution

Death on the Wye: Is chicken manure destroying the ecology of the river?

The polluted state of the river Wye hit the headlines this year. Campaigners say chicken farms are to blame and NRW has launched a review but is it likely to satisfy anyone? Adam Branson investigates

Northern Ireland

Environmental Politics

Government ‘moves to constrain’ green watchdog

A group of government amendments supposed to clarify in what circumstances the Office for Environmental Protection may bring an environmental review and thereby deliver a consistent approach to enforcement was voted through yesterday, allowing only ‘serious’ breaches to be addressed with the government able to determine how that word should be interpreted

Environmental Politics

MPs clear up enforcement overlap between OEP and CCC

The House of Commons’ Environment Bill Committee has endorsed government amendments that would clarify the remits of the Office for Environmental Protection and the Climate Change Committee.


Probe finds ‘strategic shortcomings’ in renewables support scheme

A subsidy regime to support the development of renewable electricity led to Northern Ireland exceeding its targets, but offered 'excessive' financial returns, according to an official investigation

Environmental Law

UK-REACH to change again to accommodate trade with Northern Ireland

DEFRA EU has tabled its fourth statutory instrument on the UK-REACH regime

From ENDS Europe

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