IEMA calls on next government to provide stronger international leadership on climate change

9th April 2015

Related Topics

Related tags

  • Central government ,
  • Mitigation ,
  • Adaptation


Julian Walker-Palin

The next UK government should take a stronger international leadership stance on climate change and energy issues, according to a survey of IEMA members.

In the lead up to the general election, IEMA has polled its members to explore the environment and sustainability profession’s views on climate change and energy policies. The research found that 91% of the 833 respondents agree that the next government needs to strengthen its leadership and commitment on domestic and international climate change issues.

Other findings include:

  • 92% of respondents agree that the next government should strengthen its commitment and investment in relation to future climate risks –
    for example, in flood risk management and in broader
    climate change adaptation.
  • 66% do not believe that gas derived from hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in the UK has a role to play as a “strategic transition fuel” in the nation’s future energy provision. Instead, more than 72% believe the incoming administration should prioritise investment in energy conservation schemes. Respondents also overwhelmingly support more funding for a mix of renewable and alternative energy schemes in order to address any potential short- to medium-term energy gaps.
  • 59% of those surveyed agree with the statement: “The UK should lead by example in carbon reduction.”

The survey results come after the three main party leaders signed a cross-party declaration to tackle climate change. However, when asked which party leader demonstrates climate leadership best, David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband received a combined vote of just 24%. By contrast, more than half (51%) of those polled back Natalie Bennett of the Green party as the leader who demonstrates the strongest leadership. Twenty per cent said they did not know who was strongest leadership.

Commenting on the survey results, Nick Blyth, IEMA’s lead on climate change said: “Collectively, the survey results demonstrate a professional urgency on climate change.” He said the strength of feeling among the profession on climate and energy issues signals a need for greater political momentum. “IEMA members are making a strong call for renewed political climate leadership from the next UK government. Recent pledges from the main party leaders are welcome signs of intent, but clearly professionals working on the receiving end of past government policy are not fully convinced,” said Blyth. IEMA would look to engage constructively with the incoming administration, and to work with its members to present critical evidence and experience from climate change professionals.

IEMA’s poll also addressed a widely held view that policy to reduce carbon emissions focused too much on the biggest companies, neglecting the importance of action and policy drivers for wider businesses, including small and medium-size enterprises. Almost two-thirds (63%) of respondents believe there is a need for the next government to rationalise the number of energy and carbon schemes affecting the biggest organisations. At the same time, more than half (53%) recognise the need for more financial support to be given to smaller businesses, such as tax breaks or loans, to help them implement energy savings measures.


Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.

Transform articles

EU and UK citizens fear net-zero delivery deficit

Support for net zero remains high across the UK and the EU, but the majority of citizens don't believe that major emitters and governments will reach their climate targets in time.

16th May 2024

Read more

There is strong support for renewable energy as a source of economic growth among UK voters, particularly among those intending to switch their support for a political party.

16th May 2024

Read more

Taxing the extraction of fossil fuels in the world’s most advanced economies could raise $720bn (£575bn) by 2030 to support vulnerable countries facing climate damages, analysis has found.

2nd May 2024

Read more

The largest-ever research initiative of its kind has been launched this week to establish a benchmark for the private sector’s contribution to the UK’s 2050 net-zero target.

2nd May 2024

Read more

Weather-related damage to homes and businesses saw insurance claims hit a record high in the UK last year following a succession of storms.

18th April 2024

Read more

The Scottish government has today conceded that its goal to reduce carbon emissions by 75% by 2030 is now “out of reach” following analysis by the Climate Change Committee (CCC).

18th April 2024

Read more

The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) has issued a statement clarifying that no changes have been made to its stance on offsetting scope 3 emissions following a backlash.

16th April 2024

Read more

While there is no silver bullet for tackling climate change and social injustice, there is one controversial solution: the abolition of the super-rich. Chris Seekings explains more

4th April 2024

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close