The 2020 agenda

The policy and legislative outlook for 2020 will see significant developments from a sustainability perspective. 

Martin Baxter IEMA chief policy advisor

The UK government’s majority paves the way for a range of bills: environment, agriculture, fisheries and trade bills are all expected to receive Royal Assent in 2020. A new Office for Environmental Protection, legally binding environmental targets, environmental principles integrated into mainstream policy development, biodiversity net gain, extended producer responsibility for packaging, an environmental land management scheme for agriculture, local nature recovery strategies... once on the statute book, there will be a substantial number of regulations to put the primary legislation into effect .

The UK’s negotiations with the EU will be important. Level playing field requirements, non-regression of environmental standards, mutual recognition of product standards and testing regimes will all be key issues. Negotiations will become more complex as the UK enters trade discussions with the rest of the world.

Discussions on the post-2020 framework for the International Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) will come to a head in October with the CBD COP15 in China. This will be preceded by publication of the Dasgupta Review on the Economics of Biodiversity, led by the UK Treasury.  

Climate change will be centre-stage at the end of the year with the UNFCCC COP26 in Glasgow, with significant work needed to finalise the Paris rulebook and for countries to raise their ambitions.

IEMA will continue to influence developments where we can to create the conditions for long-term improvement. We’ll keep members updated with changes as they emerge.

Martin Baxter, IEMA chief policy advisor

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