Environment (Wales) Act 2016

A Government Bill, introduced by Carl Sargeant AM, Minister for Natural Resources.  The Business Committee has remitted the Bill to the Environment and Sustainability Committee.


About the Bill


The Bill includes provision for:

  • planning and managing Wales’ natural resources at a national and local level;
  • providing Natural Resources Wales with a general purpose linked to statutory ‘principles of sustainable management of natural resources’ defined within the Bill;
  • enhancing the powers available to NRW to undertake land management agreements and experimental schemes;
  • providing a requirement for public authorities to maintain and enhance biodiversity;
  • creating a statutory framework for action on climate change including targets for reducing emissions of greenhouse gasses;
  • reforming the law on charges for carrier bags;
  • providing powers to Welsh Ministers in relation to waste recycling (including the separate collection of waste); food waste treatment and energy recovery in business.
  • making provision about several and regulated orders for fisheries for shellfish;
  • fees for marine licences;
  • establishing a Flood and Coastal Erosion Committee; and
  • changes to the law on land drainage and bylaws made by NRW.


Current Stage


The Environment (Wales) Act 2016 (external website) became law in Wales on 21 March 2016 (external website).


Record of Passage in the National Assembly for Wales


The following table sets out the dates for each stage of the Bill’s passage through the National Assembly for Wales.




Bill introduced:
11 May 2015


Environment (Wales) Bill, as introduced

Explanatory Memorandum

Presiding Officer’s Statement: 11 May 2015

Business Committee’s Report on the timetable for consideration of the Bill: 11 May 2015

Policy Intent Statement

Legislative glossary (Welsh language version only)

Research Service Bill Summary



Stage 1:
Committee considerations of general principles


Public Consultation. The Committee has issued a call for evidence, which closed on 12 June 2015.

The Committee considered the Bill on the following dates:

24 June 2015

2 July 2015

8 July 2015

16 July 2015

16 September 2015 (private)

30 September 2015 (private)

Committee Stage 1 Report

Minister for Natural Resources: Response to Stage 1 Report




Stage 1: Debate in Plenary on general principles


A debate took place in Plenary on 20 October. The motion to agree the general principles of the Bill was agreed.



Financial Resolution



A Financial Resolution in relation to the Environment (Wales) Bill was agreed in Plenary on 20 October.



Stage 2: Committee consideration of amendments


Stage 2 consideration took place in Committee on 26 November 2015.

Notice of Amendments: 21 October 2015

Welsh Government – Purpose and Effect Table: 21 October 2015

Notice of Amendments: 11 November 2015

Notice of Amendments: 16 November 2015

Notice of Amendments: 17 November 2015

Welsh Government - Purpose and Effect table: 18 November 2015

Notice of Amendments: 19 November 2015

Marshalled List of Amendments: 26 November 2015 V3

Groupings of Amendments: 26 November 2015 V2

Environment (Wales) Bill, as amended at Stage 2

Minister for Natural Resources: Further Information – 10 December 2015

Revised Explanatory Memorandum




Stage 3: Plenary consideration of amendments



Stage 3 consideration and disposal of amendments took place in Plenary on 26 January 2016.

Notice of Amendments: 15 January 2016 v2

Welsh Government – Purpose and effect table: 15 January 2016

Notice of Amendments: 19 January 2016

Marshalled list of Amendments - Stage 3

Groupings of amendments: 26 January 2016

Environment (Wales) Bill, as amended at Stage 3




Stage 4: Passing of the Bill in Plenary



The Bill was agreed by the Assembly in accordance with SO 12.36 on 2 February 2016.


Environment (Wales) Bill, as passed


Environment (Wales) Bill, as passed (Crown XML)



Post-stage 4



The Attorney General, Counsel General and Secretary of State for Wales wrote to the Chief Executive and Clerk of the Assembly to advise that they would not be referring the Environment (Wales) Bill to the Supreme Court under Sections 112 or 114 of the Government of Wales Act 2006.




Date of Royal Assent



Royal Assent was given on 21 March 2016.




Contact information

Clerk: Alun Davidson

Phone:  0300 200 6339


Postal address:

National Assembly for Wales

Cardiff Bay


CF99 1NA


Email: SeneddEnv@Assembly.Wales


Type: For information

First published: 17/04/2015