Press Statement

13 November 2017

CIWM welcomes plans for independent oversight of environmental standards

CIWM has welcomed moves by the Government to set up an independent, statutory body to oversee and uphold environmental standards post-Brexit, and confirmation by Defra today that there will be a consultation on “the specific powers and scope of the new body” early in 2018.

“In evidence to the Environmental Audit Committee recently and in an opinion piece in the Sunday Telegraph yesterday, Environment Secretary Michael Gove MP signalled a strong intent to ensure that there is accountability, performance auditing and, importantly, appropriate recourse to justice when it comes to maintaining high environmental standards. We are pleased to see that the Government plans to consult on this soon and we would expect the new body to uphold the long term ambitions that we hope to see set out in the forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan,” says CIWM chief executive Dr Colin Church.

In a blog on the subject last week, Dr Church suggested the creation of a body similar to the National Audit Office (NAO), with a pan-UK remit.
“Like the NAO, this body – let’s call it the National Environmental Audit Office (NEAO) – would be established and its head appointed by Parliament, not Government. Given the devolved nature of environmental law, the NEAO might report to all four Parliaments and Assemblies in the UK and receive funding from all of them,” he said.

CIWM has repeatedly called for some form of independent oversight of our environmental standards post-Brexit, most recently in a submission to the Natural Capital Committee to inform its input into the Defra 25 year Environment Plan and also through the Environmental Policy Forum (EPF) in an October 2017 submission to the House of Lords Constitution Committee’s EU (Withdrawal) Bill inquiry. The EPF is a network of UK environmental professional bodies and learned societies.


CIWM’s Natural Capital Committee submission and the Environmental Policy Forum submission are attached.

Notes to Editors:

  1. CIWM (Chartered Institution of Wastes Management) is the leading professional body for the resource and waste management sector representing around 6,000 individuals in the UK, Ireland and overseas. Established in 1898, CIWM is a non-profit making organisation, dedicated to the promotion of professional competence amongst waste managers. CIWM seeks to raise standards for those working in and with the sector by producing best practice guidance, developing educational and training initiatives, and providing information on key waste-related issues. More information can be found at

Press contact:
Pat Jennings
Head of Policy & Communications
Tel: 01604 620426
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