Fourth report calls for legislative muscle

Natural capital will put a financial value on our countryside. © Chris Howe

The Natural Capital Committee, a body set up by document, has published its fourth report, in which it calls for the 25 Year Environment Plan to be made legally binding through legislation this year.

‘The 25-Year Environment Plan should be placed on a statutory footing to move from aspiration to practical implementation,’ it says. ‘Such legal status will enable greater traction across government and its agencies. There should be a White Paper in 2017 setting out the 25 Year Environment Plan and laying the groundwork for necessary legislation in due course.’

The report notes that, ‘Currently many aspects of the natural environment are still deteriorating; development of the Plan has been considerably slower than both expected and desired, in part due to the referendum and BREXIT.’

But it adds that, ‘BREXIT does, however, present opportunities; and a considerable amount of effort is required to turn the government’s forthcoming Green Paper into a credible, long-term plan for the environment that makes a real difference to the state of natural capital in England.’

Professor Dieter Helm, who chairs the Natural Capital Committee, has written an article on the topic that will appear in the next issue of Landscape.

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