UK Government Falls Short on Environmental Improvements

The UK government’s progress on delivering its 25-year plan to improve the environment was deemed to have “fallen far short” by the Office for Environmental Protection (OEP). The report from the OEP offers independent assessment of government’s progress in improving the natural environment in accordance with its Environmental Improvement Plan (EIP). It found that of 32 natural environment trends assessed, nine were improving, 11 were static, and eight were deteriorating, while none of the 23 environmental targets assessed found the government’s progress to be “demonstrably on track”. The report offers recommendations for the government’s next EIP, including establishing “clear and simple” governance arrangements to deliver on improvements, set and pursue “clear and achievable” interim targets and create an evaluation framework to generate feedback on actions and progress to further improve delivery. Dame Glenys Stacey, Chair of the OEP, said: “Many extremely worrying environmental trends remain unchecked, including a chronic decline in species abundance. Our assessment shows that the current pace and scale of action will not deliver the changes necessary to significantly improve the environment in England. But there is clear opportunity to change course”.  

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