Environmental advice – are ministers talking to the wrong people?

Barry White

An interesting story was recently revealed by openDemocracy, the Online independent international media platform about The Council for Sustainable Business and body which advises the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) on how businesses can help achieve the aims of the government’s 25 Year Environment Plan.

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Will water firms escape higher fines for pollution?

Barry White

Chris Smyth, Whitehall Editor and Adam Vaughan, Environment Editor writing in The Times on 13 February reported that: ‘Water companies are set to avoid big fines for spilling sewage into rivers and seas as ministers fear the multimillion pound penalties could backfire. Thérèse Coffey, the environment secretary, is understood to believe fines of up to £250 million for polluters are “disproportionate” and is backing away from the plans https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/clean-it-up-campaign-water-firms-could-escape-higher-fines-for-pollution-as-ministers-row-back-on-tougher-penalties-8bgrr652n.

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Thousands expected to take to the streets on Saturday

Barry White

A major climate coalition is set to stage protests across Britain and Ireland this weekend. The Climate Justice Coalition, which organised the biggest climate march in British history last year, has called the demonstration on Saturday 12 November, to oppose the UK government’s ‘climate-wrecking plans’. The alliance, formerly the Cop26 Coalition, expects thousands of people to march in the streets on the day to demand climate justice in support of a global day of action called for by Egyptian groups at Cop27.

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Waters most foul

Barry White

As George Eustice the environment secretary announced at the end of last week that water companies would have to invest £56bn over 25 years in a long term programme to tackle storm sewage discharges, the Yorkshire Post (https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/environment/sewage-spilled-into-yorkshires-waterways-for-15-million-hours-over-last-six-years-figures-show-3821116) reported that sewage had been allowed into Yorkshire waterways for more than 1.5m hours over the last six years. Yorkshire Water recorded 1669,575 spillage incidents between 2016 and 2021 which equated to one incident every 18 minutes according to figures obtained by the Labour Party.

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