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ClientEarth Communications

11th May 2018

Rule of law
Access to Justice for a Greener Europe

UK government’s green watchdog plans lack legal punch

ClientEarth has called on the UK government to strengthen its plans for an environmental watchdog after Brexit.

Yesterday the government launched a consultation on the development of an independent body backed by law to ensure green protections after Britain leaves the European Union.

ClientEarth law and policy expert Tom West said:

“It’s good that the government has recognised the need for a new body to protect the environment through law. But at the moment, their plan would create a toothless body that is seriously lacking in legal punch. There is scope for the government to strengthen the proposal, but their clearly preferred version is far too weak.

“To be truly effective, a green watchdog must have the power to take all public bodies to court when they fail in their duty to protect people and the planet. It must be able to properly hold the government to account and engage with people and communities to help them solve their environmental problems.”

The government's draft Environmental Principles and Governance bill is expected to be published in Autumn.