On 18th January 2023, the Bishop of Carlisle asked a question on changes to the Localism Act 2011 to better enable national parks to engage in conservation:
The Lord Bishop of Carlisle: My Lords, some of our national parks believe that they could better address climate and nature emergencies if they were added to the list of authorities which have a general power of competence under the Localism Act 2011. Can the Minister tell us whether His Majesty’s Government have any plans to bring that about?
Lord Benyon (Con): I might have to write to the right reverend Prelate on that. As we look as implementing the recommendations of the Landscapes Review, and through the biodiversity duty that we are imposing on public bodies through the Environment Act, I think we will address that. I hope we are seeing the determination of this Government to tackle issues which simply did not exist when national parks were created 70 years ago. Climate change was not talked about then and biodiversity was stable or rising; those emergencies need to be reflected in the policies they take forward.