Environment Bill to include a legally binding target for reversing the loss of species in England by 2030

Friday 27 August 2021

It’s been a rollercoaster ride but today, after months of campaigning, Defra and the Secretary of State for the Environment listened to the 200,000+ people who called for change and amended the Environment Bill to include a legally binding target for reversing the loss of species in England by 2030. Once the Environment Bill is made law England will become the first country ever for a target for nature’s recovery.

The Environment Bill is the UK Government’s proposed new law which sets out how they plan to protect and improve our environment. Alongside over 70 organisations, the RSPB and its supporters stated clearly that this Bill did not go far enough in protecting and restoring the natural world. On the back of our campaign, in May, the Environment Secretary promised a “Net Zero equivalent for nature” through a “legally binding target for species abundance for 2030, aiming to halt the decline of nature”. But when the amendment was put in the Bill, it did not include a set date for the Government to halt the decline of wildlife, merely requiring the decline to slow down by 2030. Now the Government have changed the amendment to a legally binding target to halt nature’s decline by 2030.

Beccy Speight, chief executive of the RSPB said: “This year tens of thousands of RSPB supporters have been calling for a stronger Environment Bill that sets a legally binding target to halt the alarming declines of England’s wildlife and stem the degradation of its wild spaces. So we are delighted to see that the proposed change to the species target takes a significant step forward in recognising that this Government must not only start the work in tackling the nature crisis but also commit future governments to action. We commend the government for responding to the concerns raised and committing to this ambitious step to help revive our world. This will help provide the binding framework for the urgent action now required from us all."

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