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Environment Law Blog

Questions of environmental justice, the climate crisis, biodiversity and resource management are among the defining issues of our time. The law, litigation and legal process have a fundamental role to play in shaping the debates, policy development and decision-making in these areas. Against that background, FTB's specialist team of environmental lawyers is pleased to be launching the Environmental Law Blog (ELB) in the coming weeks. Blog posts will be posted on a dedicated page on our website, and you can subscribe to be notified of new blog posts here.

ELB seeks to provide insights, updates and commentary on developments in environmental law and policy. From the Environment Bill to climate litigation, from ground-breaking domestic and international cases to developments in environmental policy, ELB will endeavour to cover the issues that matter most for those working in, and affected by, environmental law.

Climate Change
Climate Change and Human Rights – Has a Tipping Point Now Been Reached?

Over the past five or so years, there has been what can only be described as a soar in the number of cases being brought around the world relating to climate change.

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Church
The Church, COP 26 and the Environmental Agenda

Faith groups are taking an interest in COP 26 and the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Pope and the Ecumenical Orthodox Patriarch are all due to attend, with their teams of advisors.

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Article 2 and Article 8 ECHR engaged by failure to regulate hydrogen sulphide emissions from landfill - R (on the application of Richards) v Environment Agency and Walleys Quarry Limited [2021] EWHC 2501 (Admin)

Judgment of Mr Justice Fordham handed down on 16 September 2021. Following an expedited rolled up judicial review hearing, the High Court has issued a declaration in terms that, in order to comply with its legal obligations, the Environment Agency (EA) must:

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The Case for the Recognition of the Right to a Healthy Environment at the International Level

In March 2021, a joint statement, endorsed by 69 States, was delivered to the UN Human Rights Council calling for the recognition of the right to a healthy environment at the international level.  This was complemented by another joint statement to the Human Rights Council, endorsed by fifteen UN Entities, led by the UN Environment Programme, which argued that the time for recognition of the right is now.

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Biodiversity
Net Biodiversity Gain: Challenges and how they can be overcome (2 of 2)

Introduction 

1.    Biodiversity is presently a key consideration in the planning system only where development is proposed on or nearby a site that is specifically protected, such as a SSSI. 

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Public Authorities and Environmental Information

This post is an abridged version of a longer article first published in the February 2021 issue of the Journal of Planning and Environmental Law (Public Authorities and Environmental Information [2021] 2 JPL 160).

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Habitats and Species
Retained EU law: Habitats and Species – Calm Before the Storm?

The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 (“the Conservation Regulations”) (and the equivalent offshore SI) is “retained EU law” under the EU Withdrawal Act 2018 (“EUWA 2018”) and, more specifically, “EU-derived domestic legislation”.  This post briefly examines what that means, what further changes may be expected and some issues arising.

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Environment Bill
Climate Change Challenge to Roads Strategy Fails

Mr Justice Holgate handed down judgment on 26 July 2021 in the case of R (Transport Action Network Ltd) v Secretary of State for Transport [2021] EWHC 2095 (Admin). The case was a climate change focussed judicial review of the Government’s second Road Investment Strategy (RIS2) set under s3 of the Infrastructure Act 2015.  Highways England is to develop and construct the road schemes identified in RIS2.  RIS2 covered 45 road schemes rolled forward from RIS1 and five new schemes, including the Lower Thames Crossing.  

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Retained EU Law
Environmental Law and Retained EU Case Law

Much of the UK’s domestic environmental law is derived from EU law.  This covers strategic environmental assessment, environmental impact assessment and the protection of habitats and species, amongst many other areas.  The domestic regulations covering these areas qualify as retained EU law and now need to be considered and applied in light of the arrangements for dealing with EU exit

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Statement on entries

While the blog has been set up and run by FTB members, we welcome guest posts on all aspects of environmental law, policy and practice – please contact our editorial team at elb@ftbchambers.co.uk if you are interested in contributing.

All contributors post in their individual capacity and the blog is not intended to convey legal or other professional advice through any of its posts. No warranty is given, nor liability accepted, for any of its contents.