Consultation on environmental targets

Closed 27 Jun 2022

Opened 16 Mar 2022


The evidence reports and impact assessments to accompany the consultation have been published. These can be found below (see ‘related’ section).

If you have already responded to the consultation and want to provide an additional response, please use the same email address that you used in your first response. This will help in our consultation analysis.

Evidence on the biodiversity was updated on 04/05/22 to correct uptake scenario levels for birds on page 108.

Environmental targets, a key commitment in our Environment Act, will help deliver the government’s vision of leaving the environment in a better state than it was found and will drive forward ambitious environmental improvements by successive governments that protect and enhance our natural world.

The targets form part of the government’s response to the clear scientific case, and growing public demand, for a step-change in environmental protection. Environmental targets will require action across the economy and will provide long-term certainty to businesses and society. This will stimulate innovation and economic growth and will create and support green jobs across the country. 

The Environment Act 2021 requires the government to set at least one long-term target in each of the following areas: air quality; water; biodiversity; and resource efficiency and waste reduction. It also requires targets to be set for fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and species abundance.  

We are proposing targets that we think will deliver environmental outcomes in the areas where there are some of the greatest problems. This is why we are considering targets beyond the legal minimum that we are required to set, with additional proposals on: biodiversity; water; marine; and woodland cover. 

We strongly encourage responses via Citizen Space by clicking the online consultation link below. Consultations receive a high level of interest across many sectors and using the online tool assists our analysis of responses, enabling more efficient and effective consideration of issues. However, responses can be sent by email or post.


  • Environmental campaigners
  • Food Industry
  • All Marine Users
  • Government Departments
  • Government Agencies
  • National Park Authorities
  • Water/water Industry sector
  • Angling Organisations and Trade
  • Water Abstractors
  • Environmental professional services
  • House Building Industry
  • Local Authorities
  • Consumer Groups
  • Commercial Fisheries Organisations
  • Waste Producers and Handlers
  • Business/Private Sector
  • Transport Organisations
  • Local Authorities
  • Waste Management Companies
  • Retail Industry
  • Manufacturing Industry
  • Landowners and their representative bodies
  • Farmers
  • Fishermen
  • SME businesses
  • Energy suppliers
  • Water suppliers
  • Tenant Farmers
  • Agricultural Landlords
  • Agricultural Valuers
  • Land Agents
  • Environmental Health Officers
  • Public Bodies
  • Stakeholders


  • Natural environment
  • Local nature partnerships
  • Biodiversity
  • Plants
  • Animals
  • Tree and plant health
  • Climate change
  • Green infrastructure
  • Ecosystems services
  • Deforestation
  • Illegal logging
  • Green economy
  • Sustainable development
  • Flooding
  • Flood insurance
  • Flood emergency
  • Marine
  • Marine Conservation Zones
  • Marine licensing
  • Common Fisheries Policy
  • Fish stocks
  • Shellfish
  • Sea angling
  • Waste and recycling
  • Water quality
  • Air quality
  • Water Bill
  • Water conservation
  • Bathing waters
  • Air pollution
  • Chemicals and pesticides
  • Local environments
  • Resource Efficiency
  • Pollution Sector
  • Science
  • Conservation
  • Water Abstraction
  • Domestic Waste Water Systems
  • House Building and Planning
  • Inland waterways
  • Construction
  • Watercourse maintenance
  • Water Act
  • Marine Conservation
  • Consultations
  • Impact Assessments
  • DEFRA Policy
  • Water Industry charging
  • Water Industry licencing
  • Policy and Delivery
  • Marine fisheries
  • Land management
  • Nitrates and watercourses
  • Environmental Stewardship
  • Forestry
  • Retailers
  • Forestry
  • National Parks
  • Nature reserves
  • Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty
  • Conservation
  • Industry organisations representing tenant farmers and landlords
  • Wildlife crime
  • Wildlife management
  • Protecting wildlife
  • Non-native species