(Bloomberg) -- Boris Johnson’s government bowed to growing pressure in the U.K. for tougher action against water companies dumping sewage into rivers and the sea.

The government will “enshrine in law” a move to force firms to “secure a progressive reduction in the adverse impacts of discharges from storm overflows,” the Environment Department said in an emailed statement Tuesday.

The U-turn comes after dozens of Conservative MPs faced a backlash on social media after voting against a proposal to toughen the government’s Environment Bill last week. 

Critics said their decision undermined the U.K.’s environmental messaging at a crucial moment before the country hosts a key round of global climate change talks in less than a week.

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