Science and the environment by topic

Science and the environment includes the following topic areas. Please click the links to access all of our briefings by topic:

Agriculture and farming

  • Hungry for Change: Food, Poverty, Health and the Environment Committee report

    In July 2020, the House of Lords Food, Poverty and the Environment Committee published its report: ‘Hungry for Change: Fixing the Failures in Food’. The committee found that the UK’s food system—the production, manufacture, retail and consumption of food—“is failing”. It made a series of recommendations built around the central aim of ensuring that everyone, regardless of income, has access to a healthy and sustainable diet.

    Hungry for Change: Food, Poverty, Health and the Environment Committee report
  • Environment Bill: Briefing for Lords Stages

    The Environment Bill would establish a new environmental governance system, including the setting of long-term targets and the creation of an Office for Environmental Protection. It also includes measures on improving air quality, waste management and recycling, water management, biodiversity and conservation covenants. The bill is due to have it second reading in the House of Lords on 7 June 2021, having been carried over from the last session.

    Environment Bill: Briefing for Lords Stages
  • Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill [HL]

    The Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill [HL] would enshrine the recognition of the sentience of vertebrate animals in domestic law. It would also establish an animal sentience committee that would report on whether government policymaking considers that animals are sentient beings capable of feeling emotions and experiencing pain.

    Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill [HL]
View all briefings on agriculture and farming

Energy

  • Nuclear power in the UK

    The House of Lords is due to debate a motion moved by Lord Howell of Guildford (Conservative) that “this House takes note of the role of civil nuclear power in meeting the United Kingdom’s (1) electricity needs, and (2) energy security”. This article gives an overview of nuclear power in the UK. It looks at issues such as its role in meeting carbon reduction targets, safety and the disposal of radioactive waste.

    Nuclear power in the UK
  • Behaviour change and reaching net zero

    The net zero target requires the UK to achieve a 100% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 (from 1990 levels). The Climate Change Committee’s 2021 progress report to Parliament highlighted the impact of behaviour change on reaching this target. It called upon the Government to produce a public engagement strategy for delivering net zero. The Government said its approach to public engagement will be included in a comprehensive net zero strategy scheduled to be published before the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in November 2021.

    Behaviour change and reaching net zero
  • Public engagement with the Government’s net zero target

    The Government passed legislation in 2019 legislating for the UK to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Commentators and the Government have highlighted the need for public engagement to help achieve the target. This article looks at what has been said about the issue and what the public’s attitude and awareness is.

    Public engagement with the Government’s net zero target
View all briefings on energy

Environment

  • Land use frameworks: integrating policies in England

    Planning and land use policies cover a wide range of considerations. These range from controlling the built environment to achieving environmental aims such as reducing emissions, as well as agricultural and economic objectives. Some groups have argued for the need for an overarching ‘land use framework’ to draw these together to ensure all policy aims can be met. The House of Lords is scheduled to debate this issue on 28 October 2021.

    Land use frameworks: integrating policies in England
  • COP26: changes to the ‘green book’

    On 28 October 2021, Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle (Green party) is due to ask Her Majesty’s Government “what changes, if any, they plan to make to HM Treasury’s green book and related guidance to demonstrate global leadership as chair of COP26”. This article provides an overview of COP26 alongside an explanation of the ‘green book’ and recent changes made to it aimed at supporting the UK’s net zero target.

    COP26: changes to the ‘green book’
  • Nuclear power in the UK

    The House of Lords is due to debate a motion moved by Lord Howell of Guildford (Conservative) that “this House takes note of the role of civil nuclear power in meeting the United Kingdom’s (1) electricity needs, and (2) energy security”. This article gives an overview of nuclear power in the UK. It looks at issues such as its role in meeting carbon reduction targets, safety and the disposal of radioactive waste.

    Nuclear power in the UK
View all briefings on environment

Science and technology

View all briefings on science and technology