EIC calls for environmental safeguards in red tape challenge

The Environmental Industries Commission (EIC) has welcomed Defra's programme to cut red tape but has warned the government not to undermine environmental protection regulations.

The EIC’s executive chair and Edie Awards judge, Adrian Wilkes, had recently been appointed to join Defra’s “Red Tape Challenge Sounding Board”.

Defra’s programme cut red tape to ease the burden of regulation on business will review 278 environmental regulations.

A ‘Sounding Board’ of key industry figures has been formed by Defra in the run-up to the launch of the programme.

Adrian Wilkes welcomed the EIC’s representation on the board but has warned that the government needs to intervene on environmental matters by putting a price on pollution either through regulation or fiscal measures.

He said: “The Red Tape Challenge poses a potentially serious threat if it simply looks at costs to polluters and not at the wider economic benefits.

“The threat is not only to the future health of our environment, but also to the future health of the green economy – a vital pillar in the Government’s plans for the UK’s financial recovery.

“I will be seeking to ensure that the focus of this exercise is about reducing the administrative burden on business in ways that do not undermine positive environmental outcomes or the demand for our industry’s technologies and services.”

The review of the environmental sector begins on 1st September 2011.

Alison Brown

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