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Published 15 July 2020
The Environment Agency has published a bold, ambitious and necessary 5-year Action Plan ‘EA2025 Creating a Better Place’ to improve the UK’s resilience to climate change, improve the environment and ensure the post-pandemic recovery is a green and sustainable one. The 9 aims are to prepare for volatile weather events such as flash flooding and drought and to meet and surpass the 2050 Net Zero commitment to improve air and water quality, cut waste and improve health.
The Environment Agency’s role as a regulator is prominently set out within its Action Plan. Tackling organised waste crime, estimated by the Environment Agency to cost the UK economy more than £600 million every year, is one of the Environment Agency’s 9 aims. The Environment Agency’s strategy is to cut waste crime and help develop a circular economy by 2025 and its immediate aim is to achieve a 7.5% cut in the number of high risk illegal waste sites operating.
But looking more widely than the waste sector, the Environment Agency makes it clear that achieving cleaner, greener growth will only come about as a result of its role not only as an advisor and operator but as a regulator as well. The Environment Agency rightly notes that there have been notable successes in improving the air, land and water quality but outlines the further work necessary to achieve its goals. The Environment Agency says “Our work as a modern regulator and as an environmental leader is designed to protect biodiversity and enhance the environment and the places where people live, work and play. Strong, proportionate and risk based regulation works”.
All in all, ensuring that our economic recovery is a green one is vital. The Environment Agency state that “By aiding a green recovery we can stimulate a recovery in nature” which would certainly put a silver lining on the devastating effects of the pandemic. We will be publishing more articles on environmental matters later in the year.
For more information or advise, please contact a member or our environmental team.
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