OEP to appear before EAC to discuss Government progress on environment goals
From serving information notices to Ofwat, the Environment Agency and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) on regulation of combined sewer overflows, to monitoring progress on the Government’s Environmental Action Plan and commissioning research on air quality, the Office for Environmental Protection (OEP) has been busy since it last appeared before the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) in February 2023.
Dame Glenys Stacey DBE and Natalie Prosser will appear before EAC in the Committee’s annual session examining the work of the OEP. Members will wish to discuss the OEP’s report on ‘Progress in improving the natural environment in England 2022/23’ which was published last month.
Within its report, the OEP raised concern that the Government remains largely off-track to meet its environmental ambitions, and Dame Glenys concluded that “we are at a crossroads”. Of its assessment of 40 individual environmental targets, the OEP found that the Government is largely on track to achieve four – on areas such as pollutants and wastewater – partially on track to achieve eleven, and largely off track to meet ten – including on residual waste, sustainable fisheries, chemicals and improving nature. The report urged the Government to step up its efforts and pointed out that many key policies have been announced but not yet developed or delivered.