Asim Ali, IEMA’s Public Affairs Officer, examines the UK Government's policy announcements from June and how they affect the goals of decarbonisation and environmental sustainability. This blog post is part of a monthly series that also reflects on the activity of relevant select committees and all-party parliamentary groups.

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Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has created a plan of action to support the development and prosperity of rural communities. The department is seeking to help rural communities through investment, lowering barriers to doing business, improving digital connectivity and transportation, plus supporting affordable housing and the supply of sustainable energy.

Another policy paper describes the government's strategy for plant health, which comprises 21 international objectives to increase global biosecurity and safeguard plants and trees from invasive pests and diseases.

The government has published a strategy paper on regional nature recovery plans to improve the natural environment across England. This policy will be locally driven, with the public, private and voluntary sectors cooperating to determine what needs to be done to restore nature.

Opposition nature spokesperson

IEMA had the pleasure of having Alex Sobel MP, the shadow minister for nature recovery and the domestic environment, participate in a roundtable discussion on the role that the circular economy can play in enhancing UK biodiversity. You can read the summary of the roundtable here.

Department of Energy Security and Net Zero

The Department of Energy Security and Net Zero is asking for input on the future role of the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund (IETF) and the final design of Phase 3, which will help businesses increase their energy efficiency and reduce their carbon emissions.

The UK Government has revealed plans to tighten restrictions on industrial, electricity, and aviation emissions from 2024 onwards, marking a significant advancement in the decarbonisation process. The emissions cap will be expanded in the future to include more UK industries.

As well as this, the government is urging energy-intensive businesses and heat network operators to apply for government aid that could lower wholesale energy costs by up to 20 per cent. Applications must be submitted by 25 July 2023, and the savings will be reflected in their bills until April of the following year. More information is provided here.

Moreover, companies in the UK have received a share of over £80 million in government support to switch from expensive fossil fuels to cleaner ones. It is a component of a £1 billion initiative to support cutting-edge clean technologies and aid businesses in reducing their carbon footprint.

IEMA has introduced a new Green Careers Hub to help deliver a more sustainable future by providing access to information and opportunities around green skills, jobs and careers. This is a platform that anyone from any sector or background can use to understand the role they can play in greening the economy.

Select Committees

Environmental Audit Committee

The Environmental Audit Committee is conducting a brief investigation into sustainable cooling and heat resilience. The investigation will look at the connection between heat and health, assess how well the government's current cooling initiatives are working, and consider ways to improve adaptation and resistance to temperature increases. You can read more information on the investigation here.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee

After leaving the European Union, the UK signed free trade agreements (FTAs) with Australia and New Zealand and acceded to the free trading bloc called the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). The EFRA Committee is investigating the benefits and difficulties that these FTAs will present for UK food and agriculture. Further information is available here.

All Party Parliamentary Groups (APPG)

Environment APPG

Energy minister Andrew Bowie MP will join the Environment APPG for a briefing on the Energy Bill on July 13. The event will focus on the next stages for transitioning to a sustainable energy system once the Bill obtains royal assent and will include a question and answer session with the minister.

Photo of Asim 2
Asim Ali

Public Affairs Officer

Asim joined IEMA in May 2022 as a Public Affairs Officer. Prior to joining IEMA, Asim worked in a variety of roles for three Members of Parliament and interned for the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. He also holds an MA in Human Rights, Globalisation & Justice


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