A powerful voice for policy

2nd April 2024


Ben Goodwin reflects on policy, practice and advocacy over the past year

In the impact slot in the previous edition of Transform, Lisa Pool, IEMA’s head of marketing, reflected on some of the amazing numbers behind the Institute’s performance during 2023. Figures for membership growth, attendance at webinars and training courses completed all revealed an upward trend for the year, which is incredible.

In keeping with the theme of reflecting on 2023, I have been asked to set out some of the achievements and progress that was made in the policy space.

A core aim of IEMA’s policy team is to try to positively affect the policy development process and other big decisions that take place in, for example, the judicial system.

In relation to policy development, the work that we continue to be engaged in on green skills and jobs was cited in the government’s Net Zero Growth Plan, which was published last March. Guidance documents prepared by our impact assessment group were also referred to in multiple legal proceedings relating to the environmental implications of airport expansion projects and road development schemes.

Last year, we also focused a great deal of effort on building our profile in the political sphere.

This included running a series of roundtable sessions on key environmental and sustainability issues with parliamentarians from across the political spectrum. Members of the staff team also attended the Conservative and Labour Party conferences, where we were invited to speak on several roundtables and share the Institute’s key policy asks.

The year culminated in IEMA hosting an event with members of the Labour Party’s shadow climate change and energy team in Portcullis House. The purpose of the event was to give IEMA members the opportunity to hear more about Labour’s long-term plans for delivering net zero and their wider strategy for greening the economy.

Our profile also grew in 2023, and continues to do so in 2024, through contributions to the work of other organisations that are active in the environmental and sustainability space. For example, we were asked to sit on the advisory group of Economist Impact’s research into green skills and jobs.

We collaborated with the British Chambers of Commerce on work focused on the green transition for businesses, and we have been invited to speak at events organised by bodies such as the All Party Parliamentary Group for the Environment.

We also hosted a joint parliamentary event with the Broadway Initiative at the Houses of Parliament in January, which again had a focus on businesses and their role in delivering the net-zero transition. Graham Stuart, minister for energy security and net zero, was the keynote speaker.

The plan for the rest of the year is to build on the good progress we have made to this point and to continue to ensure that the voice of the profession is heard in government and, importantly as a general election draws closer, in political circles.

Image credit: Shutterstock

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