Last week, the Chancellor delivered the Autumn Statement with the following environmental issues highlighted in the report
2.138 Accounting discipline for regulators – Environment Agency, will participate in the first phase of a new system where regulators will quantify and consult with industry on the scale of new impacts each regulator has on business (both increases and decreases in costs). The Government will extend this to other regulators in July 2013 (page 76)
2.149 Environmental impact assessments – The Government will consult on updated guidance on conducting environmental impact assessments by Budget 2013, and will consult on raising screening thresholds set out in the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2011 later in 2013.(Page 78)
Environmental levies from £ 0.5 billion (outrun 2011-2012) to 4.2 (2017 – 2018)
1.87 The Government will do more to protect homes and businesses from flooding and unlock sites for development. The Government will allocate an additional £120 million over the current spending review period to building new flood defences. Half of this funding will be awarded to the strongest bids from growth-enabling schemes such as those being developed in Sheffield, Ipswich, Leeds, Exeter and Derby. The remainder will be used to accelerate planned schemes within the wider Environment Agency programme.(Page 35).
So it look like higher revenue from environmental taxes with some of the funds being used for flood defence but with greater scrutiny of environmental regulations, which combined with the triennial review of the Environment Agency and talks of a merger with Natural England, shows that 2013 will be an interesting year.
A full copy of the Autumn Statement 2012 can be found at http://bit.ly/THBwc7