Environment

The Government is committed to being the greenest government ever. Protecting and enhancing the natural environment is crucial to our long-term economic success and quality of life. But in order to support a sustainable green economy, we have to make sure that our environmental policies are being implemented in the most effective way possible, and that our environmental regulations are not strangling businesses and individuals with red tape.

In a rapidly changing world, this will mean considering different ways of achieving our policy goals. Environmental policy often aims to encourage people to act in certain ways – and overly complex, burdensome regulation may not be the best way to do this. Instead, there is potential to explore how alternatives to regulation can help us achieve the same, or better, environmental outcomes.

We want to use this Red Tape Challenge spotlight to hear your thoughts on how environmental regulations are working in practice, and whether there are alternative means of better achieving our policy goals. If you have particular thoughts on how we could improve transparency of environmental data, take innovative approaches to compliance of environmental measures, or change default behaviour please share them in the comment thread below.

We’ve already made a start by working with businesses to produce industry-led codes of conduct, and increase transparency of environmental data so that the public can hold companies to account. But there’s more to do – in terms of Energy labelling for example, you might consider whether businesses could work together to establish a voluntary energy labelling system that enables consumers to make comparisons between products. Or regarding permitting, you may have some ideas on how the application process for permits could be further improved or the requirements for smaller businesses simplified.

This theme has been open for comment since April, and old comments can be viewed here: http://www.redtapechallenge.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/environment/. All old and new comments will be taken into account in the challenge process. The regulations are divided into eight sub-categories, so you can comment on those areas most relevant to you.

Air quality

Air quality

These regulate the amount of pollutants released into the air.

Biodiversity, wildlife management, landscape, countryside and recreation

Biodiversity, wildlife management, landscape, countryside and recreation

These regulations cover vulnerable or rare species, habitats and wildlife sites. They also control access to footpaths and national parks.

Energy labelling and sustainable products

Energy labelling and sustainable products

These regulations cover the energy efficiency labelling of certain products and set minimum energy efficiency standards.

Industrial emissions and carbon reductions

Industrial emissions and carbon reductions

These regulate the release of emissions into the environment.

Noise and nuisance

Noise and nuisance

These regulate impacts from noise, other nuisances, litter and dog fouling; and limit the effects of noise from roads, railways and airports.

Waste

Waste

These regulate volume and impact of different types of waste, including household, hazardous, construction, mining and quarrying waste.

Environmental permits, information and damage

Environmental permits, information and damage

These regulations set the operating conditions for businesses through environmental permitting; encourage public involvement in environmental matters; and provide sanctions for operators when serious pollution incidents occur.

Chemicals

Chemicals

These regulate the impact of chemicals on the environment and human health.

This site is designed to promote open discussion of ways in which the aims of existing regulation can be fulfilled in the least burdensome way possible. The presence of a particular regulation or law on this website should not be read as implying any intention on the part of the Government to remove that regulation or law from the statute book. The purpose of this exercise is to open government up to the public.

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