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Queen’s Speech criticised over environmental issues

The Government has been criticised for neglecting environmental and sustainability issues in the traditional Queen’s Speech.

Josh Fothergill - IEMA

Josh Fothergill (left), policy lead with the Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment (IEMA) said the Government had failed to prioritise these issues in either the Queen’s Speech or the election campaign.

“With the UK’s economic recovery and future prosperity absolutely dependent on the health and wealth of the environment I think today’s underplay of these issues is disappointing,” he said.

“The Queen’s Speech suggests this Government has far to go in developing its thinking to maximise opportunities to create the right environment for the UK to fully transition to a sustainable economy.

“Actions at the EU level, to develop an effective circular economy package, and at home, to address key air quality issues, must also be a primary focus.”

Green MP Caroline Lucas said the lack of environmental policy showed the government was “failing in its responsibility to future generations.”

She said that the speech missed an opportunity to announce further renewable energy investment and failed to acknowledge “the climate crisis”.

There will also be further devolution of powers to Wales and Scotland.

The Scottish Parliament will be given new tax and welfare powers while the government intends to clarify the division of powers between the Welsh Assembly and Parliament.

The assembly will also be given additional powers relating to energy, transport and local government elections.

The Enterprise Bill was also introduced that pledges to cut £10bn of red tape from British businesses and will create a small business conciliation service to help settle disputes between small and large companies.

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