• In Focus

    Government investment programmes: the ‘green book’

    The Government’s ‘green book’ describes how major public sector investment projects are assessed. In March 2020, the Government announced a review of the approach, to improve how the green book supports strategic priorities such as its ‘levelling up’ agenda and the transition to net zero greenhouse gas emissions. The review’s conclusions were published in November 2020, followed by a revised green book in December 2020.

  • In Focus

    Peatland burning: New regulations for blanket bog habitats

    In February 2021, the Government introduced new regulations banning the burning of certain types of vegetation on protected blanket bog peatland without a licence in England. On 18 March 2021, the House of Lords will debate a motion criticising the new regulations as not adequately protecting peatland or reducing UK carbon emissions. This article summarises what the regulations do and what the reaction to them has been since they were announced.

  • In Focus

    Food waste in the UK

    As part of the United Nations’ sustainable development goals, the UK Government has committed to halving the UK’s per capita food waste by 2030. In 2018, the UK produced around 9.5 million tonnes of food waste, a 15% reduction from 2007. The Government supports several initiatives as part of its resources and waste strategy, but there have been calls for it to introduce statutory regulations to meet its targets, instead of relying on voluntary agreements.

  • In Focus

    Fashion retail: Time for a new look?

    As part of measures to reduce the spread of coronavirus, many retail outlets were closed for long periods during 2020. In conjunction with changes in consumer behaviour resulting from reduced socialising and travel, this had a big impact on the global fashion industry. There are concerns about job losses in clothing stores and in the supply chain as a result of these changes. But ahead of London fashion week this month, people are also asking if this is an opportunity for the fashion industry to make permanent changes to how it operates, for the good of both people and the planet.

  • In Focus

    Agricultural tenancy reform

    In October 2017, the Tenancy Reform Industry Group highlighted potential barriers to productivity in the farming sector caused by agricultural tenancy laws and proposed ideas for reform. This article provides a summary of that report and action the Government has taken since.

  • In Focus

    Ozone Depleting Substances and Fluorinated Greenhouse Gases (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020

    The Ozone Depleting Substances and Fluorinated Greenhouse Gases (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020 would implement the Northern Ireland protocol specifically in relation to restricting the use of ozone depleting substances (ODS) and fluorinated greenhouse gases (F gases). It would mean that EU law on these issues would apply to Northern Ireland following the transition period. It would also implement controls on the movement of relevant gases, substances and equipment between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.

  • In Focus

    REACH etc. (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020

    On 8 December 2020, the House of Lords will debate government proposals to further amend the rules that will govern the domestic regime for regulating the chemicals industry following the end of the Brexit transition period. Concerns have been raised regarding the administration of this new system and its impact on UK businesses. This article summarises the new draft regulations and the reaction to the Government’s proposals.

  • In Focus

    Type approval and carbon dioxide emissions regulations 2020

    Certain regulations on vehicles and carbon dioxide emission targets are currently regulated by the EU. The UK Government has put in place statutory instruments intended to retain these regulations when the transition period ends for leaving the EU. This article looks at three draft SIs which make amendments to current legislation to ensure the regulations can function effectively after the transition period, and that the UK meets its obligations under the Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol.

  • In Focus

    UK import restrictions: Controlling the spread of Xylella

    Xylella fastidiosa is a bacteria that can cause severe disease and death in certain plants. This article explains what the disease is and discusses recent restrictions on plant imports that the UK Government has imposed to reduce the risk of it being introduced to the UK. Xylella is due to be the subject of an oral question in the House of Lords on 8 July 2020.

  • In Focus

    Packaging waste in the UK: Unpacking the issues

    This article discusses the recent measures taken by the Government to tackle packaging waste. This includes producing guidance for packaging producers to adhere to and consulting on a tax on plastic packaging. In addition this article examines the impact that the recent Coronavirus pandemic has had on packaging waste, amid reports of councils suspending recycling collections and temporarily closing household waste and recycling centres.