The government’s legislation to transform the environment has returned to Parliament today (May 26) for Report Stage and Third Reading in the House of Commons.

Through the Environment Bill, the government aims to clean up the country’s air, restore natural habitats and increase biodiversity.

The bill will also outline how the government will reduce waste, make better use of resources, and improve management of water resources in a changing climate.

The government has also said that through this bill it will aim to crack down on water companies that discharge sewage into rivers and will include a legally-binding species target for 2030, aiming to halt the decline of nature and to protect beloved British animals, such as red squirrels and hedgehogs.

Environment Minister Rebecca Pow said:

"As we build back greener from the pandemic, it is vital that we address the twin challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss and protect and improve the environment for future generations.

"The Environment Bill will ensure we deliver the most ambitious environmental programme of any country on earth, which is why it is essential that we complete its passage into law as soon as possible."

Bill amendments

The government has proposed a number of amendments to the bill upon its return to Parliament.

These include aiming to halt the decline of nature by amending the bill to require the government to set and meet a new legally-binding target on species abundance for 2030.

This builds on plans to boost biodiversity, protect peatlands and create new woodlands as set out last week by the Environment Secretary.

The Environment Bill will also re-focus the Habitats Regulations towards the objective to conserve and enhance biodiversity, and the government will publish a Green Paper on these reforms later this year.