Environmental Credits and Trading

The Environment Act received Royal Assent on the 9th November 2021. This will result in a range of powers aiming to assist the Government in meeting its long-term, legally-binding environmental targets to improve air and water quality, protect wildlife, increase waste recycling and reduce plastics. These targets, plans and policies will improve the natural environment and range from the offsetting of nitrates to a requirement for developers to provide a 10% net gain in biodiversity as a result of any new development.

The Government envisages a situation where public and private sector work together to establish a market for these ‘environmental goods’ and push each other to improve the environment whilst still being able to complete projects necessary to society. One key tool for this will be Biodiversity Net Gain. Improving or creating a new habitat will result in ‘biodiversity credits’, the number of which will be based on factors such as area, condition, distinctiveness, difficulty of establishment, time, spatial risk and the pre- and post-intervention baseline. These will be needed by developers who must offset their projects. These habitats must be secured for at least 30 years and Natural England will be working with key stakeholders to develop a long-term habitat management and reporting plan.

Nitrate offsets will similarly be available in certain areas of the country. The only one currently being on the Solent in Hampshire which is at a pilot stage.

See links below for more details and for Carbon Credits see here

Biodiversity Net Gain here

Nitrate Offsets here

Environmental Credits User Guide here

Environmental Credits Purchaser Guide here

Hugh Townsend

Hugh Townsend

01392 823935