The Office for Environmental Protection (OPE) will monitor the progress of projects which improve the natural environment and investigate potential breaches of environmental law.
Government have launched a recruitment drive to find a chairperson for the new Office of Environmental Protection. Government state the successful candidate will “will be the driving force behind the new green governance body”.
The new government department will have the task of ‘scrutinise and advise’ government to ensure that they meet their ‘ambitious’ targets to ‘improve the environment’; with legal powers to run their own investigations and enforce the law if required.
Environment Secretary George Eustice said: “Protecting and enhancing our natural environment is a greater priority than ever before, so it is essential both present and future governments are held to account on our environmental targets.
“This new and independent body needs a strong leader who has the passion and commitment needed to deliver real and lasting change for our precious environment, and I encourage all those who fit the bill to apply.”
The creation of the Office for Environmental Protection is reliant on the ‘Environment Bill 2019-21’ gaining its Royal ascent; Currently, the bill is stuck at committee stage due to the COVID-19 pandemic and is believed to be gaining its Royal Ascent sometime in 2021.
While it seems Government are being more pro-active in how they deal with environmental issues, the hiring of someone for a post that potentially might never be created, and spending more money on environmental bureaucracy, could be an example of Government wasting more public money.
What is interesting is that in 2020, under the iron-fist of Dominic Cummings, at a time where scrutiny of Government is as welcome as haemorrhoids, that Government is creating a department with the aim of ‘independently scrutinising’ their behaviour.
Only time will tell if this new office is being created to genuinly help the environment heal, or, if this is to help push Dominic Cummings expensive ‘carbon-capture’ led plans to heal the environment?