The three government bodies that set the environment and energy agenda have given a few clues as to what is set out in the new 2016-2020 Environmental Policy. The plans are designed to set out key policy objectives for the period 2015-2020 and give an insight into how departmental budget cuts, announced in the 2015 Autumn Statement are likely to be implemented.The Department for Environmental, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) promises to “deliver a strong economy and health environment” through 6 fairly high level objectives. These include:-
- Creating a cleaner, healthier environment.
- A world-class food and farming sector.
- A thriving rural economy.
- Better protection against floods.
- Delivering on time and budget, and
- Delivering efficiency.
Defra promises a new approach to tackling waste crime by making use of £20 million from a reform of the Landfill Communities Fund. The details are yet to be released.
The Department of Energy & Climate Change is prioritising energy security, keeping bills low, decarbonisation (focussing on reducing emissions across homes) and building an “energy legacy”.
There are plenty of details on large-scale energy infrastructure projects but less on businesses saving energy. However, plans to promise to develop a renewed strategy for renewable heat and the government’s response to the recent business energy efficiency consultation was published in the 2016 budget.
The Department for Transport says it will focus on local air quality and throw all its weight behind the use of ultra-low emission vehicles (especially in cities). Congestion charging and low emission zones, which ban the most polluting vehicles from entering certain zones will be further promoted.