The Government is seeking new powers in the Environment Bill to compel vehicle manufacturers to recall vehicles when they do not meet the relevant environmental standards.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) introduced the Bill to Parliament yesterday (January 30).
It will create new powers to stop the export of plastic waste to developing countries and will enshrine environmental principles in law, while introducing measures to improve air and water quality, and restore habitats so plants and wildlife can thrive.
The new vehicle recall powers are included in an effort to help improve air quality in urban areas.
Environment secretary Theresa Villiers said: “We have set out our pitch to be a world leader on the environment as we leave the EU and the Environment Bill is a crucial part of achieving this aim.
“It sets a gold standard for improving air quality, protecting nature, increasing recycling and cutting down on plastic waste.”
As well as the measures outlined, the legislation will also create legally-binding environmental improvement targets.
A new independent Office for Environmental Protection will be established to scrutinise environmental policy and law, investigate complaints and take enforcement action against public authorities, if necessary, to uphold environmental standards.
The office’s powers will cover all climate change legislation and hold the government to account on its commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050.
The Environment Bill was introduced into parliament in October 2019 and has been re-introduced to parliament following the general election.