Consultation Launched on Environmental Principles

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has launched a consultation on the policy statement for five environmental principles set out in the Environment Bill.

The Environment Bill will create a duty on Ministers to have due regard to the policy statement on environmental principles when making policy. The principles are:

  • The integration principle is the principle which states that policy-makers should look for opportunities to embed environmental protection in other fields of policy that have impacts on the environment.
  • The prevention principle means that government policy should aim to prevent, reduce or mitigate harm.
  • The rectification at source principle means that if damage to the environment cannot be prevented it should be tackled at its origin.
  • The polluter pays principle is the principle that those who cause pollution or damage to the environment should be responsible for mitigation or compensation.
  • The precautionary principle states that where there are threats of serious or irreversible environmental damage, a lack of scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.

The policy statement is intended to ensure that ministers understand how to interpret and proportionately apply these principles across government policy.

The deadline for responses is 2 June. If you would like to contribute to CIEEM’s response, please contact