Government

Rebecca Pow to oversee resources and waste, Defra confirms

Environment secretary Thérèse Coffey has finalised Rebecca Pow’s responsibilities as a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Defra. The role – Minister for Environmental Quality and Resilience – was given to Pow last month (28 October) but her responsibilities were not immediately clear. It has now been confirmed that Pow will be responsible for waste and resources alongside floods, water, air quality and noise, and environment regulation.

Rebecca Pow
Pow replaces Trudy Harrison who was made a Minister for Defra in September. Harrison will continue in the position with responsibilities for the natural environment, wildlife and land use.

Pow was previously involved with Defra as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State from September 2019 to July 2022 when she stepped down in protest against Boris Johnson’s leadership. In this role, she was also responsible for waste and resources.

Michael Gove, who introduced a series of waste reforms during his time as environment secretary, called Pow ‘a powerful champion for the environment’.

During her time as Resources and Waste Minister, Pow saw the reintroduction of the Environment Bill to Parliament which replaced EU environmental legislation following Brexit. The legislation included legally-binding targets and commitments to ban the export of plastic waste to developing countries. The Bill was brought into full operation in January this year.

Pow is MP for Taunton Deane in Somerset. She was a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport from May to September 2019.