December: New regulations

The latest legislation, guidance and consultation.


General environment 


England/Scotland/Wales/Northern Ireland

The Environment Bill aims to tackle the biggest environmental priorities of our time, signalling a historic change in the way we protect and enhance our precious natural environment. 


Climate change



The Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Act 2019 aims to raise the ambition of the greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets in Scotland by setting a legally binding ‘net zero’ target of all greenhouse gases 
by 2045.     


Emissions trading

Comes into force: 21 November 2019

England/Scotland/Wales/Northern Ireland

The Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme (Amendment) (No. 3) Regulations 2019 make various amendments to reflect changes in the EU Emissions Trading System for the next phase of the system (Phase 4, 2021-2030).


 Environmental impact assessment

Comes into force: 1 December 2019

Northern Ireland

The Waterways (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2019 ensure that canal schemes and marina works are regarded as projects likely to have significant effects on the environment and are subject to environmental impact assessments. 



Flood management

Comes into force: 4 November 2019 


A new guide has been developed by the Environment Agency covering the assessment and management of blockages in watercourses. It provides guidance on blockage risks and choosing a suitable management approach.  



Energy efficiency

Comes into force:  15 October 2019 


The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is consulting on the proposed targets for the minimum energy efficiency standard for privately rented and non-domestic buildings 
in 2030. 



Comes into force:  16 October 2019 

Northern Ireland

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs has launched a consultation seeking views on the Waste Management Plan for Northern Ireland. This is a requirement under the Waste Framework Directive 2008. 



Comes into force:  24 October 2019 


The Environment Agency has invited the public to share their views and ideas on the future of the country’s water environment and rivers through its Challenges and Choices Consultation. 



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