IEMA developed our first policy Position Statement on Climate Change in 2012. It was revised in 2014 through an engagement process with workshops across England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland, and consolidated through a survey and an outcomes webinar. In total IEMA received contributions from around 500 Environment & Sustainability Professionals.

The 2014 statement sets out critical policy calls from our members, to help support transformational change. Climate leadership is fundamental at all levels from Government through to the individual. IEMA is committed to working with professionals (our members), supporting their work on the urgency, strategic need and on the business case for action. Headlines include:

Climate Leadership

  • Leadership on climate change mitigation and adaptation is required across society and at all levels.
  • Urgent action is needed to address our (unsustainable) trajectory towards 4 degrees of warming, to minimise costs longer term, and to help organisations and communities make effective transitions.
  • IEMA advocates a professional urgency on climate change and encourages individuals, businesses, organisations and governments to all show climate leadership. Some examples are outlined below.

Policy frameworks and strategic developments that support certainty and confidence

Robust policy is essential for those seeking change and investment in new approaches to address energy and climate change challenges. Short and medium term policy confidence is critical for practitioners transforming their organisations or advising clients. IEMA calls for effective and durable policy frameworks that will support action on climate change and energy.

  • Climate change and energy policy frameworks must not be subject to short term political change - they need to support confidence for investment and effective action
  • Greater integration and a ‘joined up’ approach to policy are needed (for example between Government departments)
  • At international level an effective agreement and framework is sought to help global GHG emissions peak at the earliest possible opportunity
  • Policy frameworks should support (and not hinder) innovation and progressive transformation

Recognition, integration and embedding climate change and energy as a central and mainstream business issue

Approaches are required to embed energy, climate change mitigation and adaptation into mainstream business operations. Although ‘stand-alone’ climate and energy programmes can be valuable especially in the early stages of building support for action, integration and mainstreaming into broader business practice will be essential in securing longer term action.

  • GHG Management Hierarchy
  • Low Carbon transition planning
  • Climate Change Adaptation

Reporting, disclosure and increasing transparency on climate change and energy performance

Reporting and disclosure have an important role to play in growing board level commitment and ‘building in’ energy and climate change as mainstream business concerns. Reporting can work synergistically with development of the business case, helping build interest and demand for solutions. Energy savings are essential as early (and ongoing) wins. Lifecycle thinking is important to help ensure that wider impacts and costs of climate change are reflected across decision making

  • Organisations should be transparent on performance and report / publicly disclose their GHG emissions.Resilience and adaptation to climate impacts will also benefit from disclosure
  • IEMA supports potential extension of mandatory GHG reporting as a requirement on all large UK organisations(achieved in UK for businesses by SECR in 2018/19)
  • Lifecycle approaches are required across supply chains and into the full value chain. Ultimately this can identify all significant opportunities for energy and emission reduction and include opportunities for improving resilience and adaptation to climate risks

View IEMA’s 2014 Climate Change Position Statement in full here.

IEMA is reviewing and updating the Position Statement and will be consulting members in 2019. To provide feedback or suggestions for the revision - please email Nick Blyth, IEMA Policy Lead.