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UK | 21 August 2022

ClientEarth response to Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee's Inquiry on ELMS: Progress Update
UK
Agriculture

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ClientEarth response to Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee's Inquiry on ELMS: Progress Update

ClientEarth recognises that ELMS has the potential to deliver significant environmental benefits and should be brought forward as scheduled. However, we are concerned that the Government has not sufficiently assessed the withdrawal of existing regulatory standards from an environmental impact perspective and is instead over-relying on an exclusively voluntary approach to deliver sustainable agricultural practices going forward. In our view this approach will neither secure environmental protection nor ensure the best value for public money.

In order to address the enormous scale of key environmental challenges in England, such as that posed by diffuse pollution of water by agriculture and the impact of agricultural activities on climate change, ELMS must be further improved over time and delivered in combination with a comprehensive agri-environmental regulatory baseline. We encourage the Committee to advise DEFRA to review its current overall policy approach to ensure that agricultural regulation and incentive are sensibly integrated to deliver widespread environmental benefits and maximise value for money.