Asim Ali, IEMA’s Public Affairs Officer, examines the UK Government's policy announcements from January 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.

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has released a report titled 'A Review of the Implementation of Environmental Assessment Regimes in England.' This report examines the execution of environmental assessment processes such as EIA, SEA, and HRA.

Additionally, DEFRA has responded to the Office for Environmental Protection's (OEP) assessment of England's environmental progress, outlining where they think they have achieved milestones and future plans for further enhancements.

In legislative news, the UK government has taken a decisive step towards safeguarding children's health by announcing a ban on disposable vapes as part of a broader strategy to address the growing of youth vaping.

Moreover, the Environment Secretary recently announced substantial enhancements to farming schemes across the UK.

Department for Energy Security and Net Zero

There has been a rise in heat pump applications, with government describing how families are leveraging grants to upgrade their heating systems.

In line with efforts to embrace innovative solutions, the government has allocated funds amounting to £80.6 million to develop greener heating systems through the Green Heat Network projects.

The government is supporting industries transitioning to net zero by allocating over £190 million to reduce emissions and energy costs. Initiatives like the Local Industrial Decarbonisation Plan competition are perceived to empower businesses across diverse sectors to develop low-carbon strategies.

In the realm of nuclear power, the government's roadmap outlines plans for significant expansion, aiming to quadruple nuclear generation capacity by 2050. Investments in advanced nuclear fuel technologies aim to strengthen energy security and reduce reliance on traditional fossil fuels.

The government is currently seeking public input on its consultation focusing on the policy framework to enable investment in long-duration electricity storage. Stakeholders are encouraged to participate by sharing their perspectives before the consultation closes on 5th March.

Similarly, the government is seeking views on alternative routes to market for new nuclear projects. Stakeholders have until April 4th to contribute their insights and recommendations to this consultation.

In addition to these consultations, the government has released the Civil Nuclear Roadmap to 2050, outlining its vision for a dynamic civil nuclear sector. This roadmap provides a comprehensive overview of the government's strategy for nuclear technology development and deployment.

Select committees

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee recently held its inaugural evidence session as part of its investigation into education and career opportunities within land-based sectors.

In the upcoming part of its 'Urban Green Spaces' investigation, the EFRA Committee will centre its attention on evaluating the effectiveness of governmental and local authority efforts in safeguarding and expanding urban green areas, while also considering the sustainability of their financial support over the long term.

Environmental Audit Committee

The Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) issued a stark warning, highlighting the unsustainable consumption habits of the UK, which are exerting immense pressure on forests. In response, the EAC urges Ministers to develop a Global Footprint Indicator and establish a target aimed at reducing the UK's contribution to global deforestation.

The Department for Education (DfE) has announced its intention to publish a roadmap outlining how it plans to meet its sustainability targets by Autumn 2024, following concerns raised by the Environmental Audit Committee regarding the pace of decarbonisation efforts within the education estate in England.


Environment APPG

Chris Skidmore, a former Conservative Minister and previously the chair of the Environment APPG, has stepped down as the Member of Parliament for Kingswood amid concerns surrounding Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's proposals regarding oil and gas licenses. His resignation has initiated a by-election.

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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