Defra

DEFINITION: The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is the UK Government department responsible for environmental protection, food production and standards in the standards, agriculture, fisheries and rural communities in the UK.

See also: BEIS

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Energy Transitions Commission: Better energy, greater prosperity

The Energy Transitions Commission’s flagship report sets out achievable pathways to limit global warming to well below 2C while stimulating economic development and social progress.

It is estimated that between 80,000 and 219,000 tonnes of microplastics enter the marine environment across Europe per year

'More needs to be done' as microbeads ban comes into force

A ban on the manufacture of certain products containing plastic microbeads has today (9 January) entered into force, although MPs and green groups have reiterated that more action is needed to tackle the global problem of plastic waste.

Separate figures uncovered by the Lib Dems have revealed the House of Commons itself is also failing to get to grips with disposable cup waste, using almost 4m disposable cups in the past five years

UK environment department using 1,400 disposable coffee cups a day

More than 2.5m disposable cups have been purchased by the UK's environment department for use in its restaurants and cafes over the past five years - equivalent to nearly 1,400 a day.

Hombase's move has been welcomed by Friends of the Earth, which has received significant public backing for its campaign to ban neonics from garden plants

Homebase pledges ban on bee-harming chemicals amid green group pressure

Retail giant Homebase has committed to phase out toxic pesticides from its garden plant range after months of heavy pressure from green campaigners.

Defra claims that ratification of the Montreal Protocol will result in a reduction equivalent to around 44 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in the UK alone

UK ratifies the Kigali amendment on HFCs

The UK has become one of the first nations to ratify the landmark Kigali Agreement to phase down harmful hydrofluorocarbon greenhouse gases (HFCs) commonly found in appliances such as air conditioning units and refrigerators.

The consultation will call on organisations to provide evidence of whether devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland want to embark on individual approaches

Defra to launch consultation on independent body for environmental standards

Environment Secretary Michael Gove has confirmed that an independent body to hold the Government to account over environmental standards after the UK has left the European Union will be established following a consultation early next year.

Renewable energy in the supply chain

This new report focuses on the opportunity for companies to amplify their carbon reduction efforts by driving renewables through their supply chains. Given how easy it is to choose renewable electricity in the UK, businesses could be doing more to engage with their suppliers.

Evidence submitted will be examined by the Government’s working group which includes corporate giants such as Coca-Cola and Tesco

Michael Gove seeks evidence on plastic bottle deposit scheme

Defra Secretary Michael Gove has confirmed he will work with businesses to see how a drinks container deposit return scheme could work in England.

Towards a sustainable economy

CISL and its recently formed Rewiring the Economy Inquiry Group published its latest report ‘Towards a sustainable economy’, to identify new business approaches that can drive progress towards the SDGs.

Future Utilities Manager

New research from leading business energy consultancy Inenco has provided insight into how the role of the energy manager will change by 2030, and has highlighted the level of investment needed.

Plants at a Homebase garden centre in the East Sussex area contained traces of two of three banned substances, despite being labelled as 'bee-friendly'

Homebase caught in dispute over use of bee-harming pesticides

Homebase has clashed with Friends of the Earth after claims the garden retailer has failed to publicly commit to end the use and sale of restricted pesticides in its plant ranges.

edie explains: Onsite generation

This edie explains business guide, produced in association with E.ON, provides an in- depth summary of onsite generation, which allows businesses to make and use their own energy at a particular location, rather than buying that energy through the grid.

Wise Minds: The energy transition and large utilities

The UK energy system is in flux. It is changing more quickly – and more fundamentally – than at any point since the Industrial Revolution.

England's seven major retailers sold six billion fewer single-use plastic bags in 2016-17 compared with 2014-15 - an 83% drop in usage

Plastic bag charge: 10 fascinating facts about the scheme's sustainability success

With new Government figures revealing an 83% reduction in single-use carrier bag sales since the instruction of a 5p charge in England, edie delves deep into the data to bring you 10 facts and statistics that you probably didn't know about the scheme and its effects.

Gove used his speech at WWF’s Living Planet Centre to claim that the UK can “develop global gold standard policies” on environmental management. Image Defra UK twitter

Michael Gove vows to implement 'gold standard' policies as part of a green Brexit

Environment Secretary Michael Gove believes that Brexit has given the UK a "once in a lifetime opportunity" to become global leaders on agricultural management, as part of a vow to deliver a "green" Brexit.

Defra Secretary of State Michael Gove gave the opening address at a summer reception held in London by environmental think tank Green Alliance

Michael Gove heralds Brexit opportunity to reshape environment policy

Environment Secretary Michael Gove has pledged to use Britain's exit from the EU as an opportunity to redevelop the green policies surrounding the nation's farming and fishing industries in a way that "puts the environment first".

Angela Smith MP (left) and Baroness Parminter have raised concerns about the Government's delay in publishing the 25-Year Environment Plan

Has Defra's environment plan been 'kicked into the long grass'?

Opposition party politicians have expressed concern that the green business community has been "fobbed off" over the multiple delays of the Government's proposed 25-Year Environment Plan.

Sector insight: The state of sustainability in retail

This edie insight report explores some of the key drivers, challenges and opportunities facing sustainable business within the UK retail sector.

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan speaking at the launch of a consultation into air quality last year. Photo: Sadiq Khan/Facebook

Sadiq Khan: Gove must get a grip on 'life and death' air pollution crisis

The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has requested an urgent meeting with the new environment secretary, Michael Gove, to urge him to get a grip on Britain's "life and death" air pollution crisis.

Michael Gove replaces Andrea Leadsom, who has shifted sideways to become leader of the House of Commons. Photo: Policy Exchange/Flickr

Michael Gove appointed Environment Secretary in cabinet reshuffle

Michael Gove, one of the driving forces of the Brexit campaign, has made a shock return to the front bench to lead Defra as part of a reshuffle of Theresa May's cabinet following the UK General Election.

Executive Briefing: BS 8001 – a Guide

The world’s first standard for implementing the principles of the circular economy in organizations

The immediate green community response to the Government’s Air Quality Plan has been, by and large, overwhelmingly negative

Air quality plan: Why is the Government's strategy 'woefully inadequate'?

The Government's proposals to clean up the UK's toxic levels of air pollution have been received with widespread condemnation for being both "toothless" and "woefully adequate". Here's the industry response in full...

The High Court last week ordered the UK Government to carry on with its release before 9 May

Government distances itself from diesel scrappage scheme in air quality plan

The Government has today (5 May) published its overdue air quality plan which fails to commit to a targeted diesel scrappage scheme, while local authorities have been ordered to implement Clean Air Zones across the country.

The “survival” of the UK’s resource and waste management industry depends on a new inspection regime for waste sites and improved cross-regulation cooperation, the report said

Report: England loses £600m a year on waste crime

England is losing out on £604m a year due to the damage caused by illegal waste operators on the legitimate waste industry, new research has found.

If the Government wishes to challenge the decision, it would have to go directly to the Appeal Court due to the ruling from Judge Garnham

High Court ruling: UK Government given a fortnight to publish air quality draft

The High Court has ordered the UK Government to publish a new air quality regime, despite ministers arguing that publication of the plan would add "controversy" to the upcoming general election.

edie explains: ISO 20400

This edie explains business guide, produced in association with edie's supporting partners Action Sustainability and BSI, provides an in- depth summary of the new ISO 20400 Standard which is the world's first international standard for sustainable procurement

The bill does not require that current environmental standards are maintained after Brexit, nor does it contain a general requirement that the public should be consulted on potentially significant changes

Brexit bill may have broken international environment law, says UN

The British government may have breached a major "environmental democracy" law by failing to consult the public when drawing up Brexit legislation.

Campaigners have attacked the government request to be allowed to breach Monday deadline to publish air quality plan

Ministers under fire over bid to delay publication of air pollution plan

The government is facing renewed pressure after a last-minute attempt to delay the publication of its plan to tackle the UK's air pollution crisis.

Planning for a circular economy

The Environmental Services Association, the voice of the UK’s resource and waste management industry, has set out a number of recommendations to more closely align the planning system with the strategic objectives of the circular economy.

Environmentalists who have seen a draft version of the 25-Year Environment Plan have said it is

Pressure mounts on Defra to release environment strategy

An array of sustainability and environmental experts have told edie the Government must "stop dithering" and publish its long-awaited 25-Year Environment Plan, after a leaked version of the document was criticised for providing "grand promises with zero detail".

The Government will use the strategy as a launchpad for a new national anti-littering campaign in 2018

Litter Strategy for England: 'Far-reaching' campaign or 'inadequate life-jacket'?

Businesses and non-profits have welcomed the UK Government's new Litter Strategy for England as a "sustained national behavioural change campaign", although concerns remain over the available budget to facilitate it.

Organisations such as McDonalds and Thames21 have already agreed to act as partners for the Spring Clean

UK litter set for Spring clean as fly-tipping woes emerge

Ahead of Keep Britain Tidy's annual Spring Clean event, the charity has called for action to be taken to combat "disturbing" levels of fly-tipping across the UK.

The NCC's chair Dieter Helm claimed that Brexit offered opportunities to reverse environmental deterioration

Post-Brexit environmental legislation could boost natural capital into the mainstream

The 25-year environmental plan can act as a catapult to launch the concept of natural capital into the mainstream, the Chair of the Natural Capital Committee (NCC) has claimed.

Defra’s long-awaited 25-Year Environment Plan has been delayed by the BRexit vote, leaving uncertainty as to whether environmental protections provided by the EU will be maintained

Five green policy priorities to stop Brexit ruining our environment

From the delivery of an ambitious 25-Year Environment Plan to the avoidance of ineffective 'zombie legislation', Environmental Industries Commission (EIC) executive director Matthew Farrow outlines the key steps that must be taken by the Government to ensure Britain's exit from the EU will not have a negative impact on our environment.

Businesses agreed that natural capital valuations and environmental degradation risks must align with the 25 Year Environment Plan in order to reach broader global goals

Businesses call for SDGs to act as a pillar for long-term environmental policy

More than 60 organisations have called on the UK Government to place the spirit and aims of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the heart of the proposed 25 Year Environment Plan to foster natural capital valuation and increase business prosperity.

When combining the T-Charge with the Congestion charges, motorists could be faced with costs of around £21.50 daily

London to enforce world’s 'toughest' vehicle emissions charge in October, says Sadiq Khan

The "toughest" emission standard of any world city will enter into force in London from October 23, after London Mayor Sadiq Khan today (17 February) confirmed a £10 T-Charge to help curb air pollution in the capital.

One of the main concerns listed in the report was the Government’s “worryingly complacent” attitude towards the loss of the enforcement regime

Report: Enforcement mechanisms 'critical' for post-Brexit environmental prosperity

Introducing and transposing key environmental legislation that enforces political stability once the UK leaves the European Union (EU) will be "critical" to ensuring investor confidence, a new report from a House of Lords Committee has claimed.

Therese Coffey, pictured here, was due to speak at the launch event of a new Aldersgate Group report today, but was unwell

Businesses must lead Britain's resource revolution, claims Defra minister

The UK's ambition to become one of the most resource-efficient economies in the world must be led by private-sector innovation, according to Defra Resource Minister Therese Coffey.

The Natural Capital Committee says that Brexit provides a “great opportunity” to embed strong and ambitious environmental objectives into UK law

Defra urged to make 'rapid progress' with release of environment plan

The UK Government must swiftly implement a legally-binding 25-Year Environment Plan to halt the decline of the country's natural capital, an independent advisory body has said.