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EAC Chair responds to NAO verdict on “world-leading” biodiversity policy

17 May 2024

Commenting on the National Audit Office’s report on biodiversity net gain, commissioned by the Environmental Audit Committee, Chair Philip Dunne said:

“In recent years, the UK has seen a marked decline in biodiversity. Rising to this challenge, in February the Government became the first in the world to enshrine a national legal requirement for Biodiversity Net Gain – ensuring developers increase biodiversity by ten per cent compared to what existed before.

Today’s report from the National Audit Office, commissioned by the Environmental Audit Committee, highlights the bold ambition of this biodiversity policy and notes areas for further work.

The report finds that the Government has some way to go before it can be confident that benefits of the policy to biodiversity will be delivered as intended. But it is never easy to develop new world-leading laws; I do not doubt the commitment this Government has to match its ambition with the hard work required to deliver across this complicated and novel landscape.

I welcome today’s report and am grateful to the NAO for its nuanced analysis of a complex policy. These findings will make a valuable contribution to our ongoing inquiry into the role of natural capital in the green economy, and to our evidence session with the EFRA Secretary of State in June.”

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