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Achieving government’s long-term environmental goals

In January 2018, government published its 25 Year Environment Plan (the Plan), setting out its ambition to improve the natural environment in England within a generation, both for the direct benefits this would bring, as well as to support its influence overseas and position the UK as a global environmental leader. The Plan included ten overarching goals covering issues such as clean air, clean and plentiful water, and thriving plants and wildlife.

This report is an overview of how government is organised to deliver its environmental ambitions and draws on our experience of auditing large-scale, longer term, cross-government projects and programmes to identify key risks that the government will need to manage to achieve its goals and maximise value-for-money. These are broad and complex issues and so our aim has been to highlight the most significant potential strengths and areas for improvement across the Plan as a whole, rather than to assess the value for money of any particular aspect.

We are working on a companion report on how government is organised to deliver net zero, which will be published separately.  If you would like to provide evidence for our study please email the study team on, putting the study title in the subject line. The team will consider the evidence you provide; however, please note that due to the volume of information we receive we may not respond to you directly.