Lighting: Pollution

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 27th June 2022.

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Photo of Tony Lloyd Tony Lloyd Labour, Rochdale

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he has taken to implement the 25-Year Environment Plan's commitment to ensure that light pollution management eases potential impacts on wildlife.

Photo of Rebecca Pow Rebecca Pow The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Defra has funded or co-funded national and international assessments of drivers of change on insects and wider biodiversity such as the global Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services’ (IPBES) Assessment Report on Pollinators, Pollination and Food Production. This report notes the effects of artificial light on nocturnal insects may be growing.

Defra has worked with the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) to ensure that the National Planning Policy Framework is clear that policies and decisions should limit the impact of light pollution on local amenity, dark landscapes and nature conservation.

Furthermore, Defra has contributed to the development of the DLUHC Planning Policy Guidance on light pollution, published in November 2019, which emphasises the importance of getting the right light in the right place at the right time and sets out the factors that are relevant when considering the ecological impacts of lighting.

A range of measures are in place to ensure that light pollution is effectively managed through: controls in the planning system; the statutory nuisance regime; and improvements in street lighting.

We continue to work with partners including leading scientists to review the latest studies related to light pollution and ensure we continue to address key threats to biodiversity.

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