In a period of political and economic upheaval, there was positive news in the form of the Energy Profits Levy and support for energy bills. Progress has also been made regarding the Government's plans to decarbonise the UK's power supply sector, with the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee launching an inquiry into the plans. Read on to find out more.
As the cost of living crisis continues to escalate, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak confirmed that the Government is introducing a temporary levy on the profits of oil and gas companies at a rate of 25%. The Chancellor claimed that the levy will raise around £5 billion over the next year to help with the cost of living. There is also increased support for households in the face of increasing energy costs, with the energy bills discount due to come in from October 2022 being doubled from £200 to £400; the requirement to pay it back has also been scrapped. Elsewhere, the BEIS Committee has posed eight questions as part of its inquiry into the Government’s plans to decarbonise the UK’s power supply sector. These questions cover the Government's proposed future electricity mix, and the challenges for the current grid infrastructure in delivering this electricity mix.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has published its UK waste statistics for 2020. Overall, household recycling rates fell for England, Scotland and Northern Ireland; however, Wales' household recycling rate stayed the same, at 56.5%. Meanwhile, the Environment Agency (EA) has pledged to make guidance clearer for any site that transfers or treats waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). The EA has also updated a number of waste site permit rules, adding new codes to standard rules and permits for sites that operate non-hazardous and hazardous household waste amenities.
With water pollution in the UK making some controversial headlines over the past few months, the Government has now published their response to the Environmental Audit Committee’s report on ‘Water Quality in Rivers’. The response outlines the measures the Government has already taken for restoring water quality, including setting out their approach to improving water quality in the 25 Year Environment Plan update, and launching farming reforms and environmental land management schemes. In addition, the EA has published its consultation response on its proposals for the redesign of the Water Industry National Environment Programme (WINEP). This response contains a roadmap for long-term WINEP improvement.
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