On 7 June 2021 the Environment Bill received its Second Reading in the House of Lords. Second Reading is where parliamentarians can air their general views about a bill before the detailed scrutiny starts at Committee Stage, which is due to start in the Lords on 21 June.
Peers from across the House welcomed the Bill, which was first introduced to Parliament in a different form in 2018, saying that they looked forward to working with the Government to strengthen the Bill around key areas. The Government had previously committed to introducing a ‘state of nature’ target amendment to the Bill which would make their commitment to protect 30% of land and oceans by 2030 legally binding. You can read Peers’ contributions to the debate here.
Shortly after the debate, Baroness Young of Old Scone asked an Oral Question to the Government on whether they intended for the Environment Bill to become law before the UN COP 26 conference starts on 1 November 2021. The Government reiterated their commitment to ensuring this happens, and Peers stated that the best way to ensure that it does was to reach compromises on amendments. You can see the exchange between Peers and the Minister here.