Environment Secretary Michael Gove has asserted that the UK is presented with a once in a lifetime opportunity to become global leaders on environmental management as part of a vow to deliver a ‘green’ Brexit. In one of his first major speeches as Environment Secretary, Gove has pledged to reform the common agricultural policy (CAP) to a system built on rigorous scientific analysis.

Gove believes that leaving the EU gives the UK the opportunity to reform how it manages climate change concerns that impact agriculture, fisheries, land, waterways and air quality and the planet as a whole. His assertions are driven by the ambition to recast the country’s environmental policies and reset previous

One of the driving forces of the Brexit campaign, Gove was re-introduced to the cabinet in June after being axed by Prime Minister Theresa May as part of a government reshuffle. His new role as Environment Secretary will see him deliver and retain legislation on agriculture, land use, biodiversity, marine conservation, fisheries, pesticide licensing, animal welfare, waste, water purity and air quality amongst other factors.

Gove used his speech at WWF’s Living Planet Centre to claim that the UK can “develop global gold standard policies” on environmental management. Gove’s belief is built on the reformation of CAP, which he claimed “puts resources in the hands of the already wealthy, and encourages patterns of land use which are wasteful of natural resources”. Gove also pledged to introduce new legislation this year to officially ban the sale and manufacture of microbeads in cosmetics and personal care products. It forms the cornerstone of an overarching commitment to protect waterways from plastic pollution. The latest figures show that more than nine billion fewer plastic bags have been used in the UK since the 5p charge was introduced, an 83% reduction.

The Environment Secretary has two key opportunities in the near future to boost confidence in his green credentials. He must seize them by urgently delivering a tough package of measures to clean up the UK’s illegally polluted air, The British public are overwhelmingly in favour of keeping or strengthening EU rules that protect our natural environment – Mr Gove must not let them down.


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