The House of Lords EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee will hold a roundtable discussion on Wednesday with industry experts to examine how EU mechanisms, which allow compliance with environment commitments, will be replaced after Brexit.
This discussion follows on from the Committee’s 2017 inquiry Brexit: environment and climate change, which suggested that an independent domestic enforcement mechanism should be developed in order to replace the powers of the European Commission and CJEU to enforce environmental obligations.
The Government’s draft Environment (Principles and Governance) Bill, published at the end of 2018, included a provision to establish an Office for Environmental Protection. The Committee will look at whether this new office will be effective in taking enforcement action on environmental law and in ensuring that Brexit does not result in environmental protection.
Topics that are likely to be covered at the roundtable include:
- Whether the proposed Office of Environmental Protection (OEP) is sufficiently independent
- Whether it has the powers it will need to hold the Government to account
- Whether it should have a UK-wide remit
- Whether its proposed remit should be extended to include legislation aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions
- What changes would need to enable the OEP to enforce any ‘non-regression’ clause that might be agreed as part of a Withdrawal Agreement.