On 16 March, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) launched two new consultations that will help to set a future framework for environmental targets through industry responses to views on the first suite of Environment Act 2021 targets.

The Environment Act of 2021 requires Defra to set, review and meet long-term targets for air quality, water, biodiversity and resource efficiency and waste reduction.

The Government must also set a species abundance target by 2030, including halting the decline in species by 2030 and increasing species abundance by 10 per cent by 2042.

The Act requires that at least one target in four priority areas is set in air, water, biodiversity, resource efficiency and waste reduction. This will necessitate actions that support the UK’s marine environment, improve the water quality of the country’s rivers and freshwater habitats as well as increase woodland cover.

The consultations come during unprecedented global uncertainty, with the war in Ukraine and the impact of climate change causing increasing concern for the future.

As a spokesman for the National Farmers Union (NFU) commented, any future framework for green targets must be “flexible to deliver both food production and the environment.”

He added that Defra needs to recognise the vital part that farmers and growers play in achieving success for the proposals and insisted that any proposed changes must be “pragmatic and practical” for farmers and, “crucially, based on science and evidence.”

Interested parties should respond to the consultations via a survey on Citizen Space, an online consultation tool that will enable more efficient and effective consideration of issues. However, responses can be sent by email or post.

Both consultations close on 11 May 2022.

For more information or advice on related matters, please contact our experts at Smailes Goldie today.


Posted in Agriculture.