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The Long-Term Environmental Targets

on Monday, 06 June 2022.

The Government announced new, long-term environmental targets on 16 March 2022 which are said to support the Environment Act 2021. The targets are aimed at supporting the Government’s vision of looking after the environment.

The targets cover water, air quality and the diversity of our wildlife, including:

  • improving the health of our rivers
  • cleaning air
  • Halting the decline in our wildlife.

The environmental targets will undergo an eight-week consultation in order to explore the views of environment groups, local authorities and stakeholders.

How it Affects the Real Estate Sector

The targets aim for a more collaborative approach to environmental responsibility and tackling environmental challenges. The Environment Act 2021 and the targets will create a platform to forge partnerships between the likes of property owners, investors, local authorities, commercial occupiers and academic institutions to work together towards creating a sustainable environment and achieving the environmental targets.

Benefits of the Targets

The Government is proposing that the targets make processes clearer and more certain for everyone with more consistency in how we will be able to protect our nature sites.

The Government hopes the proposed legal framework (which will be supported by local expertise and scientific judgement) will enable regulators to make confident conservation decisions which are appropriate for each site to ensure a more coherent protected site system. This framework is intended to set a clear long-term plan for nature's recovery, which should reduce the overlap between designation of nature sites so the public and stakeholders can see at a glance what is protected and why.

The Government is also proposing practical and financial support to help local authorities to deliver the homes that are needed in areas that have been affected by nutrient pollution.

Challenges Posed by the Targets

The proposed targets will aim to ensure that the right framework is in place to meet the UK's international commitments to protect 30% of land and sea by the ever approaching deadline of 2030.

The publication of the Nature Recovery Green Paper will also launch an eight-week consultation setting out proposals for (among others) calls for proposals on how the private sector can play its part. This will be something for all those interested in commercial planning and infrastructure will need to take into consideration going forward.

The Government’s response to the Green Paper and targets consultation is expected to be published in early summer 2022. The consultation period closed on 11 May 2022.

For more information on the environmental targets covered, please contact Rebecca Beardsley in our Commercial Property team on 07896 119 385, or complete the form below.

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