Facing the future
Hello, and welcome to another edition of Transform. It is now more than a year since we moved the whole of the IEMA team to home working in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Everyone responded magnificently and has rapidly adapted to new ways of working and to changes in lifestyle.
Across the organisation we saw a significant drop in business travel, which in 2019 was a large part of IEMA’s carbon footprint. On page 22, Huw Morris explores the lessons that the COVID-19 pandemic can teach us about tackling climate change.
We recently recorded our first IEMA podcast, in which I joined Alec Tang, director of sustainability at Kāinga Or, and our CEO Sarah Mukherjee for a fascinating conversation about how the pandemic has affected our profession, and how we can build back better. Darren White discusses some of the sustainability issues facing the construction sector on page 18, including the need to tackle the workforce shortage and address the status of the sector‘s sustainability professionals.
“Policies that are incompatible with our net-zero ambition will be thrown into sharp relief”
The UK government has recently accepted the Climate Change Committee recommendation for the Sixth Carbon Budget and will enshrine in law a 78% greenhouse gas emissions reduction target by 2035, compared to a 1990 baseline. Achieving this will require a whole-of-government approach to ensure the rapid transition to a net-zero and sustainable future. Policies and decisions that are incompatible with our net-zero ambition will be thrown into sharp relief; on page 19, Quintin Rayer explores the arguments behind proposals for a new coal mine to support UK steel production. Scotland‘s net-zero ambition is five years earlier than the UK target, and on page 20 Katie MacMillan explores some of the issues the nation‘s policymakers will need to consider, including transport issues for rural and remote communities, as it aims to reach net-zero by 2045.
I hope you enjoy these and other articles in this issue. As always, please send us your thoughts and comments about what you like and what you think we could improve. We are always delighted to hear from you!
How to Save Our Planet is call to action that aims to equip everyone with the knowledge needed to make change. We need to deal with climate change, environmental destruction and global poverty, and ensure everyone’s security.
Seven of the UK's 17 key industry sectors are still increasing their emissions year-on-year, and most will miss their 2050 net-zero targets without significant government action, new research suggests.
Post-Brexit, the UK has the freedom to change its regulation of gene editing technology – and debate around the pros and cons of such a move is under way. Catherine Early reports