IEMA reacts to Queen's Speech
- Legislation ,
- UK government ,
Sustainability body IEMA has welcomed the UK government's commitment to a range of environmental ambitions outlined during the Queen's Speech this week.
These ambitions include a new framework for legally-binding environmental targets and delivering an independent Office for Environmental Protection (OEP) through the long-awaited Environment Bill.
While welcoming the confirmation that the bill will continue its course, IEMA's director of policy and external affairs, Martin Baxter, said that it must receive royal assent “as soon as possible”.
“The natural environment cannot wait a moment longer and we need the new environmental governance process in place to ensure we protect and enhance our natural capital and ecosystems,” he continued.
“There is much work to do to establish long-term environmental targets, integrate environmental principles into whole-of-government policy making, and ensure that the new ‘green watchdog’, the OEP, sets off on the right footing.
“IEMA is working with government in each of these areas, and will continue to do so to tackle the significant environmental challenges we face.”
The UK government also used the Queen's Speech to commit to bringing forward a new bill that will provide a lifetime learning guarantee, aimed at increasing skills and training for young people and adults.
A net-zero strategy will break down the UK's long-term net-zero goal on a sector-by-sector basis, while a range of planning reforms will pass into law through a new Planning Bill.
Moreover, the government promised to deliver high animal welfare standards by bringing forward plans to improve standards and eradicate cruel practices through an Action Plan for Animal Welfare and legislation.
Baxter continued: “2021 is a landmark year for the environment and climate change, with COP26 taking place in Glasgow in November. We need to put sustainability at the heart of the COVID-19 recovery.
“Skills for a sustainable economy and the transition to a net-zero future require investment in learning, upskilling the UK workforce so that everyone can play their part and benefit from the opportunities of the green industrial revolution – in this context, the commitment to bring forward a new bill to provide a lifetime learning guarantee is welcomed.
“On the announcement that a new Planning Bill will be introduced to speed up development, consent must be consistent with delivering the long-term environmental targets and improvements set through the Environment Bill.
“High-quality impact assessment that integrates social and environmental considerations is critical to ensuring development is sustainable.”
The Royal Botanic Gardens (RBG) in Kew has today unveiled a new strategy to tackle biodiversity loss and develop sustainable nature-based solutions to some of humanity’s biggest global challenges.
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.
A group of 12 leading investment consultancy firms, which advise organisations managing around $10trn (£7.3trn) in assets, have launched a new initiative to help deliver net-zero emissions by 2050.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has published a new 'Green Claims Code' to ensure businesses are not misleading consumers about their environmental credentials.
The UK government has been “too city-focused” in its climate action and must provide more funding and support to reduce emissions in rural areas, the County Councils Network (CCN) has said.
In 2020, amid the global crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw numerous cross-sector collaborations involving tech companies, aiming to create smart solutions that would amplify positive environmental and social impacts across sectors and organisations – for example in online healthcare or mRNA vaccine platform technology. This led the public health crisis to be referred to as “the digital accelerant of the decade” by US cloud communications platform Twilio.
The UK's largest defined benefit (DB) pension schemes have received a letter from the Make My Money Matter campaign urging them to set net-zero emission targets ahead of the COP26 climate summit later this year.