MPs hit out at “culture of delay” putting UK environmental goals on hold

The Environmental Audit Committee has pointed out that several ‘green’ policies and initiatives have been delayed

Big Zero Report 2022

A range of environmental policies and other green initiatives have been “significantly delayed” by ministers, MPs have claimed.

The Chairman of the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC), Philp Dunne, has written to the Environment Secretary raising concerns that a “culture of delay” at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is hampering progress on promised schemes.

The EAC said the government failed to meet the statutory deadline of 31st October to confirm new targets for air quality, water, biodiversity and waste reduction.

MPs have called for the targets to be set and published ahead of the final stage of the COP15 international biodiversity conference, which is scheduled to launch in Montreal on 7th December.

Environmental Audit Committee Chairman, Philip Dunne, said: “In common with many other stakeholders in the environmental sector, the committee is increasingly concerned to note delays in substantive policy progress at Defra in crucial areas where the government now has control of policy.

“The country is facing grave challenges as we look to reverse the decline of our precious biodiversity. Prompt, clear and decisive action is now of the utmost importance.”

Last month, the government updated on the progress in delivering its environmental targets.

Environment Secretary Thérèse Coffey said: “I was part of the ministerial team that created the 25 Year Environment Plan and prepared the Environment Bill presented to Parliament in 2019.

“Defra will continue to work at pace to finalise these environmental targets.”

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