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Environmental Audit Committee to take evidence on Biodiversity offsetting

18 October 2013

The Environmental Audit Committee will hold an evidence session on Biodiversity offsetting at 9.20am on Wednesday 23 October in the Grimond Room, Portcullis House.


Wednesday 23 October 2013, Grimond Room, Portcullis House

At 9.20am (Panel 1)

  • Sandra Bell, Campaigner (Nature & Ecosystems), Friends of the Earth
  • Brendan Costelloe, Senior Policy Officer, RSPB
  • John Slaughter, Director of External Affairs, Home Builders Federation
  • Frances Winder, Conservation Policy Officer, Woodland Trust

Atc10.00am (Panel 2)

  • Tom Tew, Chief Executive, Environment Bank
  • Janice Bradley, Head of Conservation Policy and Planning, Nottinghamshire Wildlife  Trust
  • Andrew Clark, Head of Policy, National Farmers Union

At 10.40 am (Panel 3)

  • Rt Hon Owen Paterson MP, Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Purpose of session

The inquiry looks at the proposals the Government has set out in its recent Green Paper on Biodiversity offsetting in England. This proposes a system for allowing biodiversity loss associated with developments to be measured and offset against compensatory biodiversity gain elsewhere.

In his evidence to the Environmental Audit Committee on sustainable development in March, Secretary of State Owen Patterson described Biodiversity offsetting as an “idea...for getting away from the sterile pillow fight between either developing ... and protecting an environmental asset”.

Some environmental groups have called offsetting a “a license to trash” nature,  and expressed concerns that it could lead to more developments going ahead in areas which had previously been protected.

Further information