Science 

New environmental watchdog to get legal teeth after Brexit

Image copyright Reuters Plans for a new green watchdog to protect the environment after Brexit have been outlined by the government. Ministers say the Office for Environmental Protection (OEP) will be an independent statutory body to safeguard environmental standards. It will have the power to take the government to court to enforce environmental law after Brexit. Green groups question its independence and doubt the structure will replicate the EU’s environmental protections. Why is a new law needed? About 80% of the UK’s environmental laws have been forged in partnership with…

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Science 

Trump’s environmental rollback rolls on

Image copyright The Christian Science Monitor via Getty Images The Trump administration has dealt a double blow to Obama-era environmental policies in an ongoing rollback that has targeted scores of rules. The Department of the Interior unveiled plans to allow oil drilling on millions of acres that have been off-limits to protect the greater sage grouse. And the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said it would end rules limiting carbon emissions on new coal plants. The rollback continues despite the US’ own dire warnings about climate change. Interior department documents said…

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Environmental campaigner Lord Peter Melchett dies, aged 71

Image copyright Soil Association Image caption Lord Peter Melchett was most recently policy director at the Soil Association The long-term environmental campaigner and organic farmer Lord Peter Melchett has died, aged 71. Lord Melchett, who lived in Ringstead, Norfolk, had been executive director of Greenpeace UK and most recently policy director of the Soil Association. In 1999, he was cleared of criminal damage after being accused of ripping up a GM maize crop in Lyng. Friend Elizabeth Buchannan said he was “an establishment figure who became a radical campaigner”. Peter…

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