Governments ‘Red Tape Challenge’ threatens green laws

All 278 of Britain’s green laws, originally put in place to safeguard the natural environment, have been included on the list of red tape regulations to be considered for the axe by the public as part of the ‘Red Tape Challenge’. The proposed deregulation is a corwdsourcing exercise launched by government to assess which of the current regulations restrict growth of the economy and scrap unnecessary red tape.

Environmental laws including; the Wildlife and Countryside Act, National Park Act, Clean Air Act and the Climate Change Act could now all be scrapped by government as they fall under ‘general regulations’ outraging environmental campaigners.

If green laws such as the Wildlife and Countryside Act – which governs the protection of animals and plants in Britain – were axed as a result of the ‘Red Tape Challenge’ national parks, marine reserves and sites of special scientific interest (SSSI’s) would no longer be protected by law.

Additionally, the retraction of the Climate Change Act – which was the first of its kind – would mean the release the secretary of state from duties to reach climate change targets such as to reduce the UK’s carbon emissions by at least 80% below 1990 levels by the year 2050.

The Government’s ‘Red Tape Challenge’ website invites comments either as an individual or as an organisation about red tape regulations, with Ministers facing the presumption that laws and regulations listed in the ‘Red Tape Challenge’ should be scrapped unless argued otherwise. You can comment on environmental regulations threatened to be axed by the scheme over a number of subject areas including:

• Air quality
• Biodiversity, wildlife management, landscape, countryside and recreation
• Energy labelling and sustainable products
• Industrial emissions and carbon reductions
• Noise and nuisance
• Waste
• Environmental permits, information and damage

After receiving public comments Ministers will then have three months to work out which regulations they want to keep and why.