Queen’s Speech December 2019: The Environmental Bill
Following last week’s general election, the prime minister has a Commons majority of 80 – the largest enjoyed by a Conservative leader since Margaret Thatcher in 1987. And with a new parliament comes another Queen’s Speech (just over 2 months since the last one).
Brexit and the NHS have dominated the Conservative government’s agenda set out in the Queen’s Speech.
The government’s “priority” is the UK’s exit from the EU on 31 January, and a commitment that extra NHS funding will be enshrined in law was announced.
Of the more than 30 bills announced in the Queen’s Speech, seven were on Brexit. However, the government has puts green policies at centre of its plans.
The Government says it will continue to work to meet environmental targets to halt the climate crisis by setting out measures to boost offshore wind, drive green infrastructure development, and tackle plastic waste. One of the main promises is to meet the “world-leading” target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
The plan also includes tacking air pollution and banning exports of pollution plastic waste to non-OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries. “To protect and improve the environment for future generations, a Bill will enshrine in law environmental principles and legally-binding targets, including for air quality,” the Queen said.