EAC calls for Treasury response to claims green watchdog will be "toothless"

Mary Creagh, chair of the Environmental Audit Committee (pictured), has written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer requesting that he or another Treasury minister gives evidence for the Committee's inquiry into the proposal for a new environmental watchdog.

The call follows what the EAC described as “media reports that the Treasury is opposed to giving the new watchdog similar enforcement mechanisms as the European Commission, leading some environmental campaigners to express concern that the watchdog will be ‘toothless’. However, the government has promised that leaving the EU will not lead to a weakening of environmental standards.”

The committee called on the Treasury to send a minister to outline the department's stance on environmental enforcement powers and to explain how the watchdog will ensure that the environmental protection standards previously enforced by the European Commission are met.

The EAC announced its inquiry into environmental governance on 17 May following the government’s consultation on environmental protection once we leave the EU. The deadline for written submissions closed on Friday, and oral evidence will be heard on 12 June.