In March 2022, the Government launched its consultation on targets relating to the Environment Act 2021, determined to leave our environment in a better state than we found it.
It included around 800 pages of evidence that were published following three years of developing the scientific and economic evidence. The consultation closed on 27th June. We received over 180,000 responses, which all needed to be analysed and carefully considered. In light of the volume of material and the significant public response we will not be able to publish targets by 31st October, as required by the Act . However, I would like to reassure this House and all interested parties that we will continue to work at pace in order to lay draft statutory instruments as soon as practicable.
We remain committed to our future target to halt the decline in species by 2030 as included on the face of the Environment Act, and to bring forward the wider suite of targets specified under the Act.
This statement has also been made in the House of Lords