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Theresa Villiers appears to be an advocate for climate action, strong environmental policies and low-carbon initiatives. Photo: Nikki Powell [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]

Cabinet reshuffle: Theresa Villiers replaces Michael Gove as Environment Secretary

Theresa Villiers last night (24 July) returned to Government by taking over from Michael Gove as UK Environment Secretary, as part of a radical change of cabinet from new Prime Minister Boris Johnson.  

The Environment Secretary will also use today’s speech to build on the swelling notion of addressing the climate emergency Image: Chatham House

Michael Gove backs comprehensive 'all-in' deposit return system for plastics

Environment Secretary Michael Gove has publicly backed a deposit return system for plastic containers, irrespective of size, while also warning that time is running out to avert the climate emergency.

The CEN has 41 members and is chaired by former Energy & Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) lead Sam Richards (right)

Conservative MPs set out green manifesto urging more eco-friendly policies

Fracking should be banned, the UK must take global leadership on the climate emergency and a royal commission should decide how to build homes in an environmentally sustainable manner, an influential group of Conservative MPs has said.

The charities warn that protection for marine life could be weakened under the amendments 

Charities launch legal challenge over 'unlawful' Brexit wildlife risk

ClientEarth and the Marine Conservation Society have launched a High Court challenge over the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra's) changes to Brexit negotiations, which potentially limit the types of areas set aside for marine protection.

Conservative Party leadership: What are the final five's records on environmental policy?

With the third ballot to determine the next leader of the Conservative Party taking place on 19 July, edie rounds up the environmental legacies and visions of each of the final 10 contenders in the race for No 10.

The items will be banned from sale next April

Plastic straws, cotton buds and drink stirrers to be banned in England

Plastic straws and drink stirrers, and cotton buds with plastic stems will be banned from sale and use in England from next April, the UK Government has confirmed.

The climate emergency was declared just hours before the Committee on Climate Change called on the Government to set a target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 'net-zero' levels by 2050

UK Parliament becomes first in the world to pass motion declaring a 'climate emergency'

In a hugely symbolic move, the House of Commons had declared a climate emergency, admitting the need for a cross-party approach that would enable the UK to set a world-leading standard on climate action.

Further plans to tackle climate change are expected to be set out by the Labour party Image: Chatham House

Extinction Rebellion: Michael Gove admits need for urgent action

Planting more trees, restoring peatlands to health and using new technology to remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere should all be pursued as a matter of urgency, the environment secretary, Michael Gove, has told climate change campaigners.

The EAC has warned that the Draft Bill falls

Draft Environment Bill 'severely downgrades' environmental laws from EU standards, MPs warn

The implementation of the UK's new Environment Principles and Governance Bill would lead to key national environmental policies becoming "severely downgraded" from those currently mandated by the EU, MPs on the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) have warned.

The free-to-download Brexit Matrix provides a much-needed overview of how the UK's different exit scenarios would impact green policy

edie's 'Brexit Matrix' maps out green policy impact of EU departure

With the ongoing Brexit negotiations continuing to cause confusion and uncertainty, edie has pieced together a new 'Matrix' which clearly explains the impacts that the UK's various exit scenarios would have on environmental policy.

Gove announces plans for a 'shadow watchdog' in the event of a no deal Brexit

Gove announces 'shadow watchdog' for environmental standards in event of no-deal Brexit

Environment secretary Michael Gove has announced plans for a "distinguished" lawyer to lead a shadow watchdog to oversee environmental protection in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Of the 3,980+ people directly employed by Defra, around 2,700 have been transferred to

Two-thirds of Defra staff shifted from environmental duties onto Brexit preparations

More than two-thirds of the Department for Food, the Environment and Rural Affairs' (Defra) employees have been taken out of their key roles and tasked with delivering Brexit, new official Government figures have revealed.

Emma serves on a number of boards and advisory committees which include:
ShareAction, Menhaden Capital, The Prince’s Accounting for Sustainability Project and the Green Finance Institute

Emma Howard Boyd reappointed as Environment Agency chair

Emma Howard Boyd has been reappointed as the chair of the Environment Agency (EA) by Secretary of State Michael Gove, with her second term set to run until September 2022.

In November last year, Environment Secretary Michael Gove dismissed reports that the UK will run out of drinking water if there is no Brexit deal

Water sector works with Defra to prepare for 'no deal' Brexit

The government has been "working closely" with water companies to prepare for all scenarios of the UK's exit from the European Union, including a "no deal" Brexit.

Sustainability experts from an array of businesses came together in London to discuss the potential solutions to energy and waste issues related to the circular economy

Circular roundtable: How can businesses accelerate the resource revolution?

Sustainability and corporate responsibility managers from a range of businesses recently gathered in London for an exclusive roundtable hosted by edie and EDF Energy, to discuss how organisations are stepping up efforts to accelerate a circular economy.

The government is exploring two variants of the deposit return system

All in or on-the-go?: Green economy reacts to Defra's deposit return scheme vision

The consultation on the UK's waste management process has sparked new debates on standardised waste collections and the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) regime. But the green economy wants to go "all in" on deposit return systems.

The Government estimates that an overhaul to the EPR system will raise between £800m and £1bn annually for recycling and disposal

Government unveils deposit return scheme blueprints as part of waste management revamp

The UK Government has launched a 12-week consultation to explore how a "world-leading" tax on plastic packaging, standardised waste collections across the country and varying deposit return schemes for single-use items could overhaul and modernise the national waste management system.

Gove chooses WWF's Tony Juniper as preferred Natural England Chair candidate

Environment secretary Michael Gove has named WWF UK's executive director for advocacy and campaigns Tony Juniper as the Government's preferred candidate for the Natural England Chair position.

Roydon Common Nature Reserve

Agency protecting English environment reaches 'crisis point'

Thousands of environmentally important sites across England are coming under threat as the government body charged with their care struggles with understaffing, slashed budgets and an increasing workload.

Experts or the Crowd: Who should we listen to?

As CRS professionals we can be overwhelmed with advice from experts and the crowd. We manage complex and often emotive issues, ranging from climate change to human rights violations. How can we make sound decisions when stakeholder opinions might be widely different? Recently the ICRS Annual Debate asked the question 'experts vs. the crowd: whose voice should responsible organisations prioritise?'

Ministers said the number of people living in areas with pollution above WHO guidelines would be halved by 2025

New air pollution plans improve on EU rules, Government claims

The Government has set out new plans on air pollution that ministers say go beyond existing EU rules, with a pledge to improve air quality nationwide to the standards the World Health Organization (WH0) recommends.

Currently, around 43,000 tonnes of surplus food is redistributed from retailers and food manufacturers every year, the government says

Food waste chief to target 'scandal' of 250 million binned UK meals

The Government has appointed a food waste champion to tackle the problem of 250 million meals being thrown away in the UK each year.

Under the proposals, producers will be forced to pay full net-costs of disposal of packaging they place on the market – up from just 10% now

Major packaging reforms spearhead Resources and Waste Strategy

A huge overhaul of the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) system has been proposed today (18 December) in the Government's Resources & Waste Strategy, which also includes plans for separate household food waste collections and a nationwide deposit return scheme.

Some developers already follow a biodiversity net-gain approach voluntarily

Defra launches call for evidence on 'biodiversity net-gain' developments

The Government is consulting on whether property developers should be required to deliver a "biodiversity net-gain" when building new housing or commercial projects.

During the Theos annual lecture in London, Gove said he would carry on as Environment Secretary “for as long as I can be useful” to Defra

Michael Gove confirms further single-use plastic measures to feature in Resources & Waste Strategy

EXCLUSIVE: Environment Secretary Michael Gove has revealed that the Government is set to unveil new restrictions on single-use plastics before the end of the year.

JLL, Interface, Burger King, Nestle, Sainsbury’s, Sodexo and European Metal Recycling have all been selected as Waste to Wealth “Champions”

UK businesses target resource productivity through 'waste to wealth' commitment

A group of more than 40 major businesses including Unilever, Sky, Iceland and PwC have signed a new "waste to wealth" commitment that aims to double the UK's resource productivity by 2030.

Gove has previously been supportive of May’s Chequers deal. Image: Chatham House

Michael Gove set to remain as Defra Secretary

Michael Gove will stay on at Defra after turning down the role of Brexit Secretary, according to reports.

The agency has lost a large number of staff between 2010 and 2018

MPs condemn raid on hundreds of environment staff to work on Brexit

Hundreds of staff who protect biodiversity and enforce environmental regulations in the UK have been redeployed to work on Brexit.

EAC chair Mary Creagh has dubbed the Government's response to concerns about the impact of a no-deal Brexit on the green economy

MPs call for ‘watchdog with teeth' to oversee environmental standards post-Brexit

MPs have called on the Government to strengthen the commitments made in its 25-year Environment Plan in order to prepare for the event of a no-deal Brexit scenario, claiming that the UK is currently at risk of losing one-third of green legislation if no agreement with the EU is agreed.

The UK and Scottish Governments are among the five governments and cities to sign up

Business giants join Ellen MacArthur Foundation's global commitment to eradicate plastics pollution

Business giants, financial investors, non-profit organisations and national Governments have vowed to eradicate plastic waste and pollution, as part of a new Global Commitment spearheaded by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

The proposed legislation catapults the EU into a leadership position in tackling the growing plastic pollution crisis

European parliament approves sweeping ban on single-use plastics

The European Parliament has overwhelmingly backed a wide-ranging ban on single-use plastics in an effort to tackle pollution in seas, fields and waterways.

The consultation aligns with the 25 Year Environment Plan's ambition to eliminate avoidable plastic waste

Government proposes UK-wide ban on plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds for next year

The UK Government has today (22 October) confirmed that it will introduce a string of policies aimed at banning the sale and distribution of plastic straws, drink stirrers and cotton buds by 2020.

The Government claims the funding could distribute a quarter of a million meals annually

Government unveils new £15m scheme to tackle retail food waste

The UK Government has today (1 October) announced that it will spend £15m on a new initiative aimed at redistributing almost £1bn worth of food waste from supermarkets, other retailers and manufacturers.

Ofwat has urged the water sector to deliver a “game change” on leakage. It has challenged the water sector to reduce leakage by 15 per cent by 2025

Gove: Water companies need to 'raise the bar' to tackle leaks

Water companies have agreed they need to "do more" to adapt and prepare for changing weather patterns as the environment secretary challenged them to "raise the bar" to tackle leakage.

Gove re-affirmed his belief that Brexit has given the UK a "once in a lifetime opportunity" to become environmental leaders

Michael Gove vows to safeguard environmental standards post-Brexit

Following the shock resignations of both Boris Johnson and David Davies over the Prime Minister's Chequers proposals, Environment Secretary Michael Gove has re-affirmed that environmental standards will not "slip lower" than those of the European Union (EU) post-Brexit.

The government wants to separate the issue of access to its waters from that of how much British fish is exported to the EU in its Brexit discussions with Brussels

UK vows to play hard-ball with EU over fishing waters

The UK outlined plans to overhaul its fishing policy on Wednesday, insisting that it would decide unilaterally how much access to give to EU boats after it leaves the bloc next March.

Members of the European Parliament and the EU Council will now be able to amend and tinker with the text in a process that is almost certain to last until after the United Kingdom leaves the bloc

European Commission plots ban on single-use plastics

The European Commission presented its long-awaited marine-litter-busting proposal on single-use plastics on Monday (28 May). The first legislative proposal from the Plastics Strategy aims to help the EU clean up the continent's beaches and waterways.

The trial will help Iceland's sustainability team better understand consumer perceptions and appetite for reverse-vending systems

Iceland becomes first supermarket to trial in-store deposit-return system

Frozen food retailer Iceland has become the UK's first supermarket to trial an in-store deposit-return scheme in support of the Government's recently announced intention to launch a nationwide rollout of the scheme.

The government insists there will be no weakening of environmental protections

Campaigners attack plan for new watchdog to protect environment after Brexit

The government's plans for a new environmental watchdog to maintain standards and hold ministers to account in post-Brexit Britain has come under near universal attack from green campaigners.

Taking action for a sustainable future

Ensuring packaging is as sustainable as possible is a priority for businesses across the globe. The Governments' newly announced £60m initiative backing the cause demonstrates the scale of this ambition. It's time to bring this conversation to the forefront and tackle the issue together.

Analysis of the DRS in Norway by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) found that businesses will not suffer losses from such a system

UK retailers 'will not suffer financial losses' from bottle deposit scheme

Retailers will not suffer financial losses from the introduction of a plastic bottle deposit return scheme (DRS) in the UK, according to an analysis of a similar system in Norway.

Signatories will aim to make 70% of plastic packaging effectively recycled and composted

UK businesses make world-first pact to slash plastic packaging

Major firms including Nestlé, Marks & Spencer (M&S) and Unilever have today (26 April) made joint commitments to make unnecessary single-use plastic packaging "a thing of the past".

Theresa May outlines plan to ban plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds

Prime Minister Theresa May has announced that a consultation will take place later this year to prepare England for a national ban on plastic straws, drink stirrers and plastic-stemmed cotton buds.

The report says it is not enough to fall back on international environment commitments, which are mostly far laxer than EU standards

Green Brexit unlikely despite government claims, report concludes

Government promises of a green Brexit have been cast into doubt by a new study that warns of declining protections for water, birds and habitats once Britain leaves the European Union.

Around 600,000 straws will be converted to home compostable material as a result

Waitrose builds on plastics pledge by switching to paper straws in cafes

Waitrose has revealed it will build on a commitment to stop selling packs of single-use plastics straws later this year, by replacing all plastic straws used in its onsite cafes with Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper alternatives.

The public mood is changing – how can business talk to customers about sustainability?

The public mood appears to be changing. David Attenborough's emotive Blue Planet backed by on-going campaigns in the Daily Mail and on Sky has focussed attention on single use plastics. Michael Gove, eager for a positive post-Brexit platform, has sensed an opportunity and started talking about new legislation. Sustainability is creeping up the agenda, customers are getting inquisitive about company behaviour. How should business respond?

A total of 40 MPs have also pledged to give up plastics for Lent, including minister of state for energy and clean growth Clair Perry

Church of England and ClientEarth give up plastics for Lent

The Church of England has provided worshippers with a calendar of tips to avoid using single-use plastic during Lent, with MPs and environmental law firm ClientEarth also agreeing to the pledge.

More than 100 MPs have pledged to reduce their own reliance on single-use plastic and encourage their local constituencies to follow Image: Flickr/PolicyExchange

Michael Gove spearheads MP group pledging to plastics phase-out

More than 100 MPs, including Environment Secretary Michael Gove, have pledged to reduce single-use plastic consumption within their local constituencies, after committing to Sky Ocean Rescue's #PassOnPlastic pledge.

The plans will offer additional funds to farmers who work together to make environmental improvements at “landscape scale”

Michael Gove: UK to reward farmers for environmental practices post-Brexit

Michael Gove will indicate that the UK will replace the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) post-Brexit with a system that gives subsidies to farmers who try to enhance the natural environment.

2017 green policy review: A year of progress and pleasant surprises

What a difference a year makes. Let us briefly cast our minds back to the halcyon days of January 2017 - who would have thought that a widely-ridiculed Jeremy Corbyn would soon become favourite to be the next PM; that a divorced mixed-raced American actress would be about to enter the Royal Family, or that a vastly experienced England cricket team would succumb to a humiliating Ashes defeat Down Under before the Boxing Day test?

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.

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.

Michael Gove said he was keen to work with British farmers to explore alternative approaches to grow crops without neonics

Defra throws weight behind total ban on bee-harming pesticides

The UK Government has given its support to a proposed European-wide ban on toxic pesticides that have a damaging effect on the dwindling honeybee population.

Michael Gove said there was a “strong and powerful case” for an independent body to improve on the EU’s judicial system

Michael Gove outlines plans to address environmental 'governance gap'

Defra Secretary Michael Gove has vowed to consult on the creation of a new environmental body to ensure the UK avoids a "governance gap" after leaving the EU.

No need for plastic to be on the menu

"There is no need for plastic to be on the menu" Prince Charles said recently referring to the plastics in the ocean that are ingested by fish caught for our dinner tables. The need to find a solution to recycle more plastic continues to attract considerable public debate and scrutiny.

Deep breath: change the conversation

Air quality in our towns and cities is a critical issue but action and progress will be sorely limited unless we grasp the challenge of awareness, behaviour and pro-active communications.

Global deposit return schemes

Deposit return schemes add a small deposit on to the cost of drinks which is refunded to the consumer when the container is returned. Hence, the incentive for consumers to recycle their drinks containers is much greater. Containers, such as glass, can be refilled and other such as cans can be recycled, eliminating wastage of the containers.

Evidence submitted will be examined by the Government’s working group which includes corporate giants such as Coca-Cola and Tesco. Image: Flickr/PolicyExchange

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.

Machinery used on construction sites such as diggers and bulldozers constitute the second largest source of ultra-fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in London

Sadiq Khan calls for greater powers to tackle construction pollution

Sadiq Khan has written to Defra Secretary Michael Gove to ask the Government for greater powers to tackle construction pollution, as industry experts call for urgent action to improve the state of sustainability in the UK built environment.

Campaigners are calling on Michael Gove not to derail food waste efforts after promising to deliver a planet that is ‘greener, cleaner, better, richer’ to the next generation

Defra 'sabotaging' EU targets to halve food waste

Environment Secretary Michael Gove has been urged not to "row back" on the fight to cut food waste as leaks claim that his Ministry is trying to scupper an EU agreement on reduction targets.

Why the Great Repeal Bill could change how we view the UK’s waste sector for generations to come

With the Repeal Bill set to go through Parliament when MPs return from recess, we now have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to create a waste sector that works for the UK.

The Air Quality Plan will help local authorities reduce emissions by retrofitting the most polluting diesel vehicles and changing road layouts

Air Quality Plan: Diesel and petrol cars banned by 2040, £255m to tackle pollution blackspots

Environment Secretary Michael Gove has today unveiled the Government's long-awaited Air Quality Plan, which includes a ban on all new petrol and diesel cars and vans from 2040 and a £255m fund to help councils crack down on emissions.

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".

The open water market is expected to deliver up to £200 million of benefits to the economy and water customers over the next 30 years, through improved service and value for money

Water market opening has made an 'April fool' of businesses

Businesses have been taken for an "April fool" with the promise of a competitive and open water market, utility consultancy Utilitywise has insisted, as research reveals fewer than 1% of businesses have switched water retailer since the market opened.

Brexit could give the waste sector the coherent, long-term framework it desperately needs

With the appointment of Michael Gove as the new Secretary of State at Defra, we now have an opportunity to determine the future success of the waste 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.

The move to block EU ban comes despite environment secretary Michael Gove saying, ‘I don’t want to water down’ EU protections

Tories aim to block full EU ban on bee-harming pesticides

Conservative politicians are trying to stop a complete EU ban on bee-harming pesticides, despite the new environment secretary Michael Gove's statement earlier this week, in which he said "I absolutely don't want to water down" EU environmental protections.

What the new Government means for Britain's waste industry

As with any major political upheaval, there are positives and negatives to our new Conservative Government.

Claire Perry named as new Climate Change Minister

The ongoing Conservative ministerial reshuffle has seen Claire Perry take over from Nick Hurd as Minister of State for Climate Change, amid concern over new Defra Secretary Michael Gove's track record on green issues.

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.


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