Over the next couple of weeks, members of IEMA’s policy team will be attending the Conservative and Labour Party conferences, taking place in Manchester and Liverpool respectively. In this short blog, Ben Goodwin, IEMA’s director of policy and public affairs, discusses how the team will be engaging in key events and discussions to champion the sustainability agenda.

We have already seen the Liberal Democrats announce a range of policy proposals concerning the natural environment at their conference this week.

These have included plans to establish a ‘nutrient neutrality’ requirement for development projects in vulnerable areas, creating a new Environmental Markets Authority to tackle greenwashing and replacing Ofwat with a beefed-up regulator with new powers to improve performance across the water sector.

Environmental policy will be one of the main topics of discussion at both the Conservative and Labour Party conferences and the IEMA team will be engaging with MPs, other party members and business stakeholders to share our views.

In advance of conference season, IEMA has already published a set of key policy asks, which can be found here.

As part of this, we are calling for a permanent cross-government body to be established that takes a strategic approach to delivering green skills and jobs growth in the UK which is tied to our long-term climate and environmental goals.

We are recommending that a circular renewable strategy is developed to ensure materials and minerals needed for our transition to a net zero economy are reused, plus the creation of a national Environmental Assessment Unit to enhance EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) delivery in England.

We will be raising these points at the many fringe events that we attend over the course of the two conferences and at private roundtable sessions that we have been invited to contribute to.

In terms of roundtable sessions specifically, I will be representing IEMA at the following:

  • Green Alliance Private Roundtable on CCUS (Conservative Party Conference)
  • Labour Together and OVO Private Breakfast Roundtable: A Jobs Transition (Labour Party Conference)
  • Fabian Society the Left's Plan For Climate Resilience (Labour Party Conference)

We’ve seen some fairly regressive announcements from government on key environmental policies over recent weeks. This draws the importance of conference season into sharper focus and increases the necessity for IEMA to share insights and knowledge that can convince key decision-makers of the need to act urgently on the environment.

To keep IEMA members up to speed, the team attending will be blogging on our progress at both conferences to share takeaways and any next steps.

Photo of Ben goodwin
Ben Goodwin

Director of Policy and Public Affairs, IEMA, IEMA

Ben is Director of Policy and Public Affairs at IEMA. In this capacity he looks after the delivery of IEMAs core policy, practice and public affairs activities across a range of environmental and sustainability issues. Prior to joining the organisation Ben worked in several similar policy roles at organisations including the Institution of Civil Engineers and the Renewable Energy Association.


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