Owen Paterson takes over as Environment Secretary

Owen Paterson will become Environment Secretary after the Prime Minister’s Cabinet reshuffle today. The former Northern Ireland Secretary and conservative MP  takes over from fellow Tory Caroline Spelman and will become responsible for a budget of more than £2billion at the Department of Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs. He voted moderately for policies to stop climate […]

Waste crime jailbirds on the rise

The number of people jailed for committing serious waste crimes has nearly trebled in the last three years. But organised gangs continue to dump waste in towns and cities and using areas around motorways to run large-scale illegal waste operations. That’s according to the Environment Agency’s first ever Annual Waste Crime Report, which also reveals 335 […]

Water Bill to open market and save £2 billion

Businesses in England will be allowed to switch water suppliers in the future and this could potentially save £2 billion for the economy, it was announced today. The news comes as Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman launched the draft Water Bill this afternoon in a bid to reform the water industry by driving innovation and opening […]

Rio+20: “Disappointing” or a new direction?

Last week’s highly anticipated Rio+20 summit where 180 world leaders met to create an action plan for sustainable development has been criticised for holding little “concrete action”. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon (pictured) claimed Rio+20 gave nations a “new direction” at the closing ceremony of the three-day summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He said: […]

Draft agreement reached at Rio+20

The 180 nations gathered in Rio+20 have reached a draft agreement on a plan of action, according to UK Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman. Writing from Rio de Janeiro yesterday, where she is part of the UK’s delegation at the UN conference, Ms Spelman admitted some will be “disappointed” there isn’t more in the agreement, called […]

Government dirty air court case thrown out

The court of appeal has ruled that the UK’s breaches on air quality are a matter for the European Commission. The court of appeal dismissed a case yesterday brought against the Government by environmental lawyers ClientEarth. Back in December DEFRA admitted that it was breaching European Union pollution limits. The judge in charge of the case, Mr […]

UK’s “stalled” green economy could slip further

The green economy which David Cameron declared would be crucial in leading the country out of recession has “stalled” and is in danger of slipping further behind, MPs warned today. On the day financial crisis in Europe looked even less likely to clear up with the prospect of Greece exiting the euro firmly on the […]

Temporary water ban confirmed following a very dry March

Temporary bans on water usage have been confirmed following a warm and dry month and will come into effect from Thursday. South East Water had initially put forward concessions to allow watering newly laid turf for 28 days and also to let over 65s use a hosepipe for watering the garden. But following a very […]

£1bn savings from cutting green tape

Unnecessary environmental regulation is to be scrapped and could save UK business £1 billion over five years. This is according to DEFRA, which launched a ‘Red Tape Challenge’ last year. Announcing the results of DEFRA’s study, the Environment Secretary maintained cuts would not distract the department from its goals. Caroline Spelman said: “I want to […]

Dozen new nature areas protect wildlife

A dozen new Nature Improvement Areas created by the Government aren’t enough to protect “treasured wildlife”, according to campaigners. This week Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman revealed the new nature zones will cover hundreds of thousands of hectares across England. Each site will get a share of £7.5 million to create wildlife havens such as heathland […]