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Tell the Government not to weaken the public’s right to environmental information.

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Earlier this year the Campaign for Freedom of Information revealed how the government’s supposed ‘world-leading law’ for a green Brexit would weaken the public’s right to environmental information.

Now, with the Brexit deadline only weeks away, they have mobilised a powerful coalition of 40 leading environmental, open government and other organisations to write to the Environment Secretary, Theresa Villiers, urging her to drop this damaging and unjustified restriction on our right to know.[1]

The Environment Bill will establish the Office of Environmental Protection (OEP), to investigate complaints of serious failure by public authorities to comply with environmental laws. But most information about the OEP’s investigations would be withheld. The OEP could publish its final investigation report if it wanted to – but the public would have no right to it, or most of the related data or exchanges.

Crucial information about the action the OEP takes to deal with public authorities breaching air quality or other environmental limits would be secret.

This would reverse decades of progress in opening up environmental information.

The Campaign made sure the organisations’ letter to Theresa Villiers the made the media headlines this week.[2] But with the government reportedly preparing to introduce the bill within a month of a no-deal Brexit, pressure to make it drop the proposed secrecy provision is urgent!

Can you help us to campaign on this? You can take action right now and help us stop future environmental secrecy by:

  • Sharing the letter signed by 40 organisations on social media (share this Facebook post and Retweet this Tweet).
  • Tweeting @DefraGovUK asking it to drop the prohibition on disclosure in clause 28 of the draft Environment (Principles and Governance) Bill.
  • Forwarding this message to your friends and asking them to take these actions too.

If enough people like you act today we can force the government to drop this secrecy provision.

Campaign for Freedom of Information

[1] The letter signed by the organisations is available online.

[2] Independent, 12 August 2019

The Ecologist, 13 August 2019

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