Biodiversity offsetting inquiry

Inquiry status: Report published and Government response received

The Environmental Audit Committee launched an inquiry into the Government consultation on Biodiversity offsetting in England, which proposed to introduce a system for allowing biodiversity loss associated with developments to be measured and offset against compensatory biodiversity gain elsewhere.

The aim of the inquiry was to contribute to a wider ongoing inquiry by the Committee on Well-being. In that inquiry we took evidence from Prof Dieter Helm, chair of the Natural Capital Committee, which included some discussion of the scope for biodiversity offsetting.


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    • Reports and associated evidence – Reports of Committee inquires. This category may also include Special Reports where they are used by a Committee to bring matters relating to conduct of its business to the notice of the House.
    • Responses to Reports - Responses may be published as a Special Report, or as a Command Paper. They may also be appended to a Report should the Committee have substantial comments on the Response, in which case they can be found listed under Reports. 
    • Other oral and written evidence - Evidence taken by the Committee that has yet to or did not result in the publication of a Report. This includes transcripts of recent meetings.
    • Estimate Memoranda - An Estimate memorandum is an explanatory note that accompanies a government department’s estimate (a means by which a department seeks authority from Parliament for its spending plans).
    • Correspondence - Correspondence sent from or received by the Committee or its Chair.

Stages of an inquiry

Most, but not all, Select Committee inquiries are conducted as follows:

  • Written evidence called for
  • Oral evidence sessions held
  • Report published
  • Response published

Not all inquiries result in a Report