Lords debates Environment Bill
8 June 2021
Members of the Lords discussed the main principles and purpose of the Environment Bill during second reading, on Monday 7 June.
The Environment Bill aims to make provisions to improve the environment.
The bill was welcomed but members argued for stronger provisions to address the urgent challenge of climate change. In particuar in relation to issues including:
- the marine environment and water quality
- air quality and transport policy
- depleted biodiversity.
Targets and powers
Many members questioned how the government will ensure the bill's targets will be met, in light of previous missed targets. They said specific interim targets (as well as long term targets) would be needed to hold the government to account.
Thay also highlighted the need to give the Office for Environmental Protection (OFP) sufficient powers to fulfil its role.
Storm damage and decline of nature
- reduce the harm from storm overflows to rivers, waterways and coastlines
- require a legally binding target on species abundance for 2030 to halt the decline of nature (acting on the recommendations of the Dasgupta Review).
Members taking part
Members speaking in the debate included:
- Lord Krebs (Crossbench), leading zoologist and former chairmain of the Food Standards Agency and the National Environment Research Council
- Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle (Green), former Leader of the Green Party
- Baroness Jones of Whitchurch (Labour), member of the ClientEarth Development Committee
- Baroness McIntosh of Pickering (Conservative), vice-president of the Association of Drainage Authorities
- Lord Smith of Finsbury (Non-affiliated), former chair of the Environment Agency
- Lord Teverson (Liberal Democrat), member of the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit Advisory Board.
Watch or read the debate
Explore further information
Read background on the bill in the House of Lords Library briefing on the Environment Bill.
Image: Chris Walker on Unsplash
- Agriculture, animals, food and rural affairs
- Business, industry and consumers
- Energy and environment
- Parliament, government and politics