The Chair of the new Office for Environmental Protection (OEP), Dame Glenys Stacey, has called for professionals working in environment and sustainability, to provide feedback on the new public body’s strategic vision which will be out for consultation at the start of 2022. IEMA's Digital Journalist Tom Pashby recently sat down with her.

In an interview with IEMA’s Chief Executive Officer Sarah Mukherjee MBE on the ‘Greening the news with IEMA’ podcast, Dame Glenys shared her perspective on a range of issues from COP26 to action on the ecological emergency, and laid out her vision for the OEP.

The OEP has been in operation for a number of months but was legally created in November 2021 following Royal Assent of the Environment Act 2021. It expects to be fully established in 2022 following action from parliament which is needed to give it its full functions and powers.

Following a question from Sarah about what she thought of the outcomes from COP26, Dame Glenys highlighted the fact that the UK holds the presidency of the COP process until COP27, so the UK has a fantastic opportunity to show global climate leadership. She said she thought the Glasgow Climate Pact, which was agreed at COP26, was a “big step forward” and provided the world with a chance to raise ambition on climate action.

Dame Glenys went on to talk about how the UK’s target of net zero by 2050 should be used as a focal point for climate action in the UK and said “we need to build on that ambition and work at all levels”.

On biodiversity, she mentioned that the next conference relating to the Convention on Biological Diversity – COP15, is taking place next year in China and will be “the biggest biodiversity conference in a decade” and that the UK is aiming to halve our biodiversity loss.

IEMA members should keep an eye out for the OEP’s consultation on its strategy in early 2022 and give their opinion on how the OEP could best serve environmental protection in England – and potentially Northern Ireland, depending on forthcoming decisions from the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Listen to Dame Glenys Stacey on our latest podcast episode of 'Greening the News' here.


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