Policy Highlights: September 2021

Food waste was in focus in September, with WRAP reporting some positive results from the Food Waste Reduction Roadmap over the last year.

Also in the news was the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC)'s report on biodiversity, and the launch of the new Green Claims Code. Read on for more key policy highlights:

Resources & Waste

In the 2021 progress report on the Food Waste Reduction Roadmap, WRAP reported that 251,000 tonnes of food were saved from going to waste over the past year. This food was worth £365 million, and would have emitted 670,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. A total of 145 million meals were redistributed. These achievements demonstrate the Roadmap's vital role in reducing food waste ahead of the 2030 Courtauld Agreement food waste target. In other news, Jo Churchill MP has been appointed as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA), meaning she will take over handling of the Resources & Waste Strategy from Environment Minister Rebecca Pow.

Energy

In September, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) published a Green Paper on Fusion Energy, proposing the safe roll out of fusion technology. As part of this, the government has proposed to build a prototype fusion power plant by 2040 to demonstrate the future viability of fusion as an energy source. BEIS has also launched a call for evidence on future pathways for CHP decarbonisation. Options that have been discussed previously include using existing natural gas CHP as a transition to lower carbon alternatives. In addition, the department has published a response to its consultation on the Green Heat Network Fund (GHNF).

 

Net Zero

The Environment Bill continues to progress through the House of Lords, with the Report Stage taking place on 6th and 8th September. Key topics of debate included biodiversity, air quality and the role of the Office for Environmental Protection. Also on the topic of biodiversity, the EAC's latest report emphasises how consumption is one of the biggest causes of biodiversity loss, and that an environmental footprint target should be established to show the impact of imported goods on the environment. Elsewhere, the Competition and Markets Authority has launched its Green Claims Code, to help businesses make accurate environmental claims about services and products.

Decarbonising the UK's heating system is a crucial step towards Net Zero. Embracing heat networks is key to this.

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