By Larissa Lockwood, Director of Clean Air, 2 min read
The government has delayed the long-awaited environment bill for a third time. The bill sets out key environmental laws and targets after the UK's departure from the European Union which would be the biggest shake up of green legislation in decades. The six month postponement has sparked fury throughout environment charities and campaigners, as the delay will likely mean the bill will not pass before autumn this year.
"We are utterly dismayed that the Environment Bill has been delayed for the third time, and that the government voted against adopting the healthy limits to air pollution advised by the World Health Organization.
It will be the most vulnerable and low-income communities who suffer the consequences of this delay. In the midst of the COVID-19 respiratory pandemic, what could be more important than protecting the lungs of our most vulnerable? With all eyes on the UK in the build up to COP26, we urge the Prime Minister to stick by his promise to “make sure the natural world stays right at the top of the global agenda”.
The government must bring back the Environment Bill urgently and include immediate legal limits on air pollution in line with World Health Organization guidelines. This is the only way to ensure the UK government is leading from the front at COP26, and avoids being accused of watering down the air quality protections we experienced under the EU."