Following the purdah period and the General Election, it has been pleasing to see developments across environmental policy in recent weeks which has seen the Environment and Agriculture Bills reintroduced to Parliament. This poses significant influencing opportunities for SocEnv and the Environmental Policy Forum (EPF), with these Bills facing legislative scrutiny as they move through Parliament, and the marks just the beginning of what is sure to be a busy year full of policy and legislative developments.
We have begun to build relationships with the new Secretary of State for Defra, George Eustice MP, as well as other new Ministers including the new COP26 President The Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP in the run-up to November. The EPF recently sent letters to new and returning Ministers outlining our key asks from them and Government, including some of our recommendations for environmental targets as enabled by the Environment Bill. Our letter to the Environment Secretary George Eustice can be viewed via the ‘our work’ section of the EPF website: https://www.envpolicyforum.org.uk/our-work.
In late March, the EPF will be holding a workshop in Belfast aimed at ensuring broad engagement and input from the Northern Ireland environmental community. The workshop will focus on the Environment Bill and provide an opportunity to discuss the environmental aspects of future trade arrangements and relationships. To find out more, please contact email@example.com.
Looking further ahead, SocEnv and the EPF are keen to harness the huge opportunities posed by the 2020 UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15) and 2020 UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), to be held in October and November respectively. With COP26 hosted in Glasgow, the latter in particular is a fantastic opportunity for the UK to showcase its aspirations to be an environmental leader on the international stage – and we would encourage everyone to be part of what is a landmark moment in a key year for the environment.
Sarah Ridgeon, Policy and Communications Officer