Environment Protection

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 26th July 2021.

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Photo of Baroness Ritchie of Downpatrick Baroness Ritchie of Downpatrick Non-affiliated

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to introduce a target to reduce their environmental footprint by 75 per cent by 2030.

Photo of Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

There is no requirement in the Bill for a footprint target. However, this does not preclude the Government from setting one if it is judged to be the best way to deliver long-term environmental outcomes, building on progress made in delivering the 25 Year Environment Plan.

The Bill framework allows for long-term targets to be set on any aspect of the natural environment, or people’s enjoyment of it. The Government is committed to setting targets through a robust, evidence-led process that seeks independent expert advice, provides a role for stakeholders and the public, as well as scrutiny from Parliament.

We have commissioned the Joint Nature Conservation Committee to develop a global environmental footprint indicator to help us understand the UK’s global footprint. The first phase of this work was published in May 2021, with further development currently underway. The outcomes of this work will help inform our future thinking on the most appropriate approach to drive change in this area.

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