On 2 February 2016 the Assembly voted to pass the Environment (Wales) Bill into law. It’s a broad Bill that covers lots of different areas such as nature conservation, climate change, charges for carrier bags, recycling and fisheries.
The Bill was first published by the Welsh Government in June 2015 since then Assembly Members have been considering the Bill and its implications for Wales. The video below was published by the Welsh Government:
The Bill has gone through a number of different stages in the Assembly where Assembly Members have had the opportunity to ask for people’s views on the Bill and make changes to it through what are known as ‘amendments to the Bill’. You can find out more about how legislation is made in Wales on our Legislation page.
What will the Bill do?
Some of the key changes the Bill will make are listed below:
- A National Natural Resources Policy will be published for Wales, this will set out priorities for looking after the environment.
- Public bodies like local councils will have to take actions to protect nature in their areas and publish a report saying what they’ve done.
- On climate change Welsh Ministers will have to make sure that Wales reduces its carbon emission by at least 80 per cent by 2050 and publish policies saying how its going to achieve this.
- There will also be an advisory body on climate change that will give advice to the Welsh Government and other organisations in Wales and what action they should take to reduce their emissions.
- Welsh Ministers will be able to put a charge on a wider range of carrier bags not just plastic bags.
- Welsh Ministers will be able to ask business and public bodies like schools and hospitals to separate out their recycling before its collected for example by putting paper and glass in different bins rather than putting it all in one bag.
- Welsh Ministers will also be able to ban business such as restaurants from putting their food waste down the sewer.
- There will be new powers to help develop shellfish businesses in Wales such as mussel and oyster producers.
The video below shows the views of some people who contributed to the survey.