“A worrying hole where clarity and understanding should have been”: reaction to George Eustice pledge for green recovery

Words like ‘probably’ and ‘sometime’ coming from someone who is meant to be leading on our environment ambition really isn’t good enough.
  Published:  20 Jul 2020    |      1 minute read
  • Environment group calls for more clarity on plans to protect the environment
  • Friends of the Earth is also calling on the government not to water down planning laws that protect the environment.

Kierra Box, campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said:

“The whole speech had a worrying hole where clarity and understanding should have been.

“The Secretary of State was completely non-committal on when the Environment Bill will be back - words like ‘probably’ and ‘sometime’ coming from someone who is meant to be leading on our environment ambition really isn’t good enough.

“The vagueness on his own ability, and that of his colleagues, to protect our standards in the future is really worrying. Mr Eustice suggested that demands for the government to guarantee existing standards in law were unnecessary and painted trade deals as the only likely threat. He has seemingly forgotten that the task force designed to fast track major building projects across the country already threatens these protections domestically.”

Ahead of tomorrow’s expected planning reform policy paper, Friends of the Earth is also pressing the government to not water down planning laws that protect the environment.

Kate Gordon, senior planner at Friends of the Earth, said:

"Environmental Impact Assessment and Strategic Environmental Assessment are internationally established, robust methodologies used throughout the world as a key tool for environmental protection and must not be weakened. Any proposals for reform should seek to strengthen and improve their effectiveness, not water them down."