Boris Johnson promises urgent climate action after stinging criticism
Boris Johnson has promised "urgent action" on the climate crisis, taking personal leadership of this year's UN climate talks after a blistering attack by the sacked former minister who was to lead them.
COP26: Boris Johnson to move diesel ban forward to 2035 and call for global net-zero transition
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will use the COP26 climate conference to call on other nations to follow the UK in setting a net-zero target and is also set to reveal plans to move the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars forward five years to 2035 as part of a "year of climate action".
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 '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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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".
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.
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.
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 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.