The UK government is abdicating its responsibilities and “unfairly shifting the burden” of dealing with dirty air on to local authorities, says an industry body.

The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health outlined its views in response to the government’s consultation on air pollution. …

So, instead of doing more with less local authorities have to do even more with less.

Rees-Mogg looks forward to slashing environmental controls, safety and workers rights

“Britain could slash environmental and safety regulations on imported products after it leaves the EU, a Tory MP has suggested.

Jacob Rees-Mogg said regulations that were “good enough for India” could be good enough for the UK – arguing that the UK could go “a very long way” to rolling back high EU standards.

The idea, floated at a hearing of the Treasury Select Committee, was immediately rejected by an economist, who said such a move would likely cause “quite considerable” difficulties.

“We could, if we wanted, accept emissions standards from India, America, and Europe. There’d be no contradiction with that,” Mr Rees-Mogg said.

“We could say, if it’s good enough in India, it’s good enough for here. There’s nothing to stop that.

“We could take it a very long way. American emission standards are fine – probably in some cases higher.

“I accept that we’re not going to allow dangerous toys to come in from China, we don’t want to see those kind of risks. But there’s a very long way you can go.”

The MP’s comments came in the context of a discussion about trade deals with other countries following Brexit.”

“Rural tourism worth more than farming”

“TOURISM generates more revenue and provides more employment for the rural sector than farming, delegates at a recent seminar were told.

John Hoy, head of rural at consultants Bidwells, was speaking at the firm’s latest event, which was themed around the wealth of diversification opportunities available to the rural sector.

Whether it is glamping, holiday lets, sporting events, filming, wedding venues, concerts or even hosting festivals, the tourism sector offers an array of profitable opportunities, he said.

And tourism is set to play an even more important role in the rural sector in a post-Brexit environment especially if it is incorporated into any replacement scheme for CAP.

Mr Hoy said: “The value of tourism for the rural sector is very poorly understood.

“If we look for example at the numbers around tourism and agriculture there are 365m trips to rural destinations each year, generating £18.6bn for the rural economy and providing 340,000 full-time jobs.

“So tourism actually generates more revenue and provides more employment for the rural sector than farming, which might surprise many who work in this industry.

“It is therefore really important that the linkages between farming, the environment and our unique landscape is recognised in how the CAP is reformed going forward.”

Mr Hoy was the chief executive of Blenheim Palace for 14 years, before he joined Bidwells in January.

During the presentation, he talked through the potential key areas that must be addressed in order to ensure that the tourism industry continues to thrive post-Brexit.

These include reinstating tourism planning guidance, developing a skilled workforce, reducing red tape and improving public transport.
The rural industry must look at innovative new ways to generate income in a post-Brexit environment – and the returns could be very rewarding, said Mr Hoy.

Britain’s events industry alone is worth over £41bn to the economy through direct visitor spend, he told the audience.

Mr Hoy also gave guidance on some of the do’s and don’ts when hosting events and highlighted the additional incomes which they can provide.

“There are huge opportunities in all of these areas and the rural sector needs to look creatively in the post-Brexit market that we are in,” he said.
“It needs to be more entrepreneurial, find other things to do and discover just what opportunities are out there.”

How bad is Gove for the environment? Very, very bad

Owl says: Isn’t it a good job that Claire Wright persuaded Devon County Council to agree that they will accept nothing less than EU regulations in Devon:

Unfortunately, Hugo Swire refused to commit to making any pledges on the environment:

“His record of voting against measures to halt climate change and his attempt to wipe the subject from our children’s curriculum show him entirely unfit to lead our country in tackling one of the greatest threats we face,” she [Caroline Lucas] said.

“And as we enter Brexit negotiations, Gove’s past suggestion we scrap vital EU environmental protections becomes ever more concerning.

“This appointment is further evidence of both Theresa May’s complete disregard for the environment and her desperation to hold together a government in chaos.”

Who do you believe on the environment – Claire Wright or Hugo Swire

Claire Wright said that the environment post-Brexit wouldn’t be in safe hands if Conservatives win and did something about it for Devon:

Hugo Swire said she was scare-mongering and it would be fine:

The Guardian now says:

The UK is lobbying Europe to water down a key energy-saving target despite the fact it will not take effect until after Brexit, according to leaked documents that sparked warnings that energy bills could rise and jobs put at risk.

On the day Theresa May triggered article 50, government officials asked the European commission to weaken or drop elements of its flagship energy efficiency law.

Green campaigners warned that the efforts to undermine the energy efficiency directive were a sign the Conservatives would dilute or abolish European energy and climate policies after the UK leaves the EU.

In the past, the UK has publicly welcomed the targets, which end in 2020, as an important driver for reducing consumer bills and reliance on energy imports.

The European commission wants a binding target of improving energy efficiency 30% by 2030, compared with business-as-usual.

But documents obtained by Greenpeace, dated 29 March, show the UK urging the commission to lower the goal to 27% and make it non-binding on the EU’s 28 members. A more recent version, dated 22 May and seen by the Guardian, shows the UK has maintained its stance. …

Cranbrook “country park” to go to public inquiry

Basically, developers want to skimp, and EDDC has no other way open to attempt to thwart their stinginess.

Don’t hold your breath for a good result in the current political and developer-led situation.

British air pollution worse than Mexico, Brazil and US

“People in the UK are 64 times as likely to die of air pollution as those in Sweden and twice as likely as those in the US, figures from the World Health Organisation reveal.

Britain, which has a mortality rate for air pollution of 25.7 per 100,000 people, was also beaten by Brazil and Mexico – but it trailed far behind Sweden, the cleanest nation in the EU with a rate of 0.4 per 100,000.

The US rate per 100,000 was 12.1, Brazil’s was 15.8 and Mexico’s was 23.5, while Argentina was at 24.6.

The figures are revealed in the WHO World Health Statistics 2017 report, published on Wednesday, which says substantially reducing the number of deaths globally from air pollution is a key target. …”

With a recent judicial review announced for the effect on air pollution of a new town, one wonders if Cranbrook would have been one of those cited in the current (toxic) climate.