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Assessment of EU/UK environmental policy

The inquiry from the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee aimed to assess the extent to which EU environmental objectives and policies succeeded in tackling environmental issues in the UK. It was issued to inform the debate ahead of the referendum on EU membership that the Government had committed to holding by the end of 2017.

Objectives of the consultation

The inquiry looked at the merits and drawbacks of determining environmental policy at an EU level for the UK and at the implications of such policies on the UK environment. 

The Committee invited responses on some, or all, of the following sets of questions in no more than 3,000 words:

Objective 1: To understand the objectives of EU environmental policies, and the extent to which they have helped to address the most important environmental issues to the UK.

  • What advantages and/or disadvantages does environmental policy making at the EU level offer for the UK?  
  • Has the right balance between the objective of setting a flexible common EU framework for tackling cross-border environmental problems, and allowing for distinct national approaches to be taken into account been achieved? 
  • How successful has the implementation of EU environmental policy and the role of the EU as an international negotiator on environmental issues been for the UK? In areas where this has fallen short, where could improvements be made?

Objective 2: To understand the implications of EU environmental policies on UK environmental protection.

  • Have EU environmental policies taken into account the specific character of environmental issues in the UK?
  • How effective have EU environmental policies been in addressing environmental issues in the UK? What work still needs to be done?
  • What impact has EU environmental policy had on the UK's businesses which are affected by the policies?

The inquiry closed on 20 November 2015.

CIBSE response

CIBSE response to this inquiry was published, amongst other submissions, on the Environmental Audit Committee website. To read CIBSE response please follow the link below.