IEMA responds to waste strategy and CCC report

14th January 2014


Related Topics

Related tags

  • Mitigation ,
  • Waste ,
  • Minimisation

Author

Darren White

The Institute has reacted to both Defra's plans to tackle waste in England and the independent committee on climate change's report on the fourth carbon budget

In December, the government launched its strategy for reducing and managing waste in England, with the aim of achieving a “zero waste economy”. The waste prevention programme for England seeks to improve the environment and protect human health by supporting a resource-efficient economy, reducing the quantity and impact of waste being produced, while promoting sustainable economic growth.

Commenting on the launch of the programme, Martin Baxter, executive director of policy at IEMA, welcomed the government’s recognition of the benefits of moving to a more resource-efficient, circular economy. He warned, however, that unlocking the prize of more sustainable growth with lower environmental impacts would require a concerted effort by organisations to embed resource efficiency and recovery across the whole value chain. “Failure to recognise the importance of environment and sustainability skills to enable businesses to deliver this agenda is a missed opportunity,” he said.

Meanwhile, Nick Blyth, policy and practice lead at IEMA, has responded to the report from the committee on climate change (CCC), which concludes that the UK’s fourth carbon budget, covering 2023–27, does not need amending.

“We welcome the unequivocal statement from the CCC that there are no changes in circumstances that would warrant any lowering of the target set in the fourth carbon budget,” he said. Blyth also called on the government to confirm the budget as soon as possible to provide long-term certainty needed for investment in low-carbon energy infrastructure.

The fourth carbon budget was legislated in June 2011 and commits the UK to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by 50% against 1990 levels. It reflects the best estimate of the most cost-effective path to meeting the 2050 target in the 2008 Climate Change Act – that is, to reduce emissions by at least 80% on 1990 figures.

As part of the agreement to set the budget, the government scheduled a review for 2014. The Act sets out the basis for the review: it must be based on advice from the CCC and the budget can only be changed if “there have been significant changes affecting the basis on which the previous decision was made”.

Visit IEMA’s policy hub at iema.net/policy-climate-change-and-energy to read the Institute’s position statement on climate change.

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