Ceredigion MP “disappointed” at the UK Government’s decision to postpone the Environment Bill


The UK Government has decided to postpone the Environment Bill after it was debated in the House of Commons yesterday afternoon, 26 January.  

The Environment Bill sets long-term binding targets for improving the UK’s natural world. Amendments to the planned legislation were debated by MPs yesterday, but the Bill will not return to the Commons until the next Parliamentary session.  

MPs and campaigners have argued that the delay will make it harder for the UK Government to hit targets to improve water, reduce waste and protect wildlife. The hold-up will also impact the Welsh Government’s ability to implement programmes containing measures to mitigate climate change. 

During his contribution to yesterday’s debate, Ben Lake MP for Ceredigion stated that he was “disappointed that the Government have failed to make significant progress with this Bill, especially given the urgent need to act to address not only the causes of climate change but biodiversity loss.” 

The Environment Bill includes measures to ensure consumers in the UK no longer contribute to the destruction of vast swaths of forested land overseas, through new rules intended to stop the import of goods to the UK from areas of illegally deforested land. 

WWF have warned that we are losing vital forests and other critical natural ecosystems at an alarming rate. Official Brazilian figures published in November 2020 showed a 9.5% increase in year-on-year deforestation in the Amazon. An area of the Brazilian Amazon half the size of Wales has been lost in just one year, the highest deforestation figure since 2008.  

After the debate, Ben Lake MP stated: 

“Most people are concerned about the environment, and are anxious to do their bit to help tackle climate change. However, it is not often appreciated that the choices we make here in Wales can contribute to reckless land management practices and resource extraction abroad. Whether it is the deforestation in Mexico driven by unsustainable avocado production, or the felling of vast tracts of the Amazon rainforest to propagate illegal ranching and soya farms.  

We have a responsibility to play our part in stopping the drivers of the deforestation of rainforests abroad, and doing so will be crucial if we are to avoid catastrophic global temperature increases and biodiversity loss in the near future. As such, it is important that the UK Government brings forward measures to support the transition away from supply chains which contribute to deforestation, and in particular introduce measures that actively discourages the trade of goods that have contributed to deforestation abroad

“We have a duty to do all we can to protect our natural world for present and future generations.  In such an important year for climate change mitigation and adaptation, I hope that the UK Government will make a meaningful effort to get the Bill on to the statute book as soon as possible in the next parliamentary session.” 

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  • Carys Lloyd
    published this page in News 2021-01-29 10:27:28 +0000

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