The long-term legally-binding targets framework under the Environment Act provides a key opportunity to set up the next decade of policy decisions around land and related systems. Decisions, such as what targets to set, their indicators, and how they should fit together with other targets, will be determinative in the future of these systems. The Government’s consultation on these targets proposes an approach which is broadly similar to the one set out in the Government’s policy paper in 2020.
Several of the proposed targets will have implications for land, how it is used, and the policies which affect it. In particular, the biodiversity targets may have a significant impact on the UK’s approach to land. Other targets may have co-benefits or consequences for land. The water quality targets include one on nutrient pollution from agricultural land, which may affect the policy approach to agriculture, with consequences on land as well as for watercourses.
The consultation has now closed, and the IES and its sister organisation, the IAQM, have submitted responses addressing the targets on both a theoretical and technical level.
Read more in the full briefing paper.