Asim Ali, IEMA’s Public Affairs Officer, examines UK policy announcements from May 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.

Impact of the General Election

With Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announcing a General Election for Thursday 4th July, the UK Government has now entered into a period of purdah and parliament has been dissolved. This means no policy activity in Whitehall and that Select Committees and All-Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs) have ceased to exist until new chairs and members are appointed after the election.

As a result, various green policies and legislation now face delays or even cancellation.

Notable among these are:

The following announcements were prior to the announcement of the General Election and therefore subject to future uncertainty depending on the policy programme of the new Government.

Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)

DEFRA announced a significant package of measures aimed at bolstering the farming and food sector in the UK. The newly unveiled measures are designed to support domestic food production, foster innovation within the sector, and help it achieve its full economic potential. Additionally, the package aims to attract and cultivate the next generation of leaders in farming and food industries.

The UK joined 170 countries at the fourth Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-4) in Canada, making significant strides towards a global treaty to end plastic pollution by the end of the year.

Department of Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ)

DESNZ launched a call for evidence to explore innovative methods for transporting captured CO2, aiming to enable more UK industries to adopt carbon capture technology. More information is provided here.

The Department also announced that the UK it is set to become the first European nation to invest in the next generation of nuclear fuel, with a £196 million investment in a high-tech nuclear fuel facility and new measures to advance fusion energy.

DESNZ also announced an investment of £557 million to help public buildings switch to cleaner heating solutions and reduce energy bills. This funding will support schools, swimming pools, hospitals, and high-energy-use businesses in making energy-efficient upgrades.

Select Committees

As of 30th May, all Select Committees have ceased to exist due to the dissolution of Parliament. The following activity occurred before this.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee:

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee (EFRA) has outlined its priorities and key concerns for the agricultural and food supply sector in 2024.

Environmental Audit Committee:

The Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee, Philip Dunne, commented on the National Audit Office’s evaluation of biodiversity net gain. More information is here.

He has also called upon the Government to provide clearer insights into its strategies for safeguarding UK buildings from heatwaves.

The Committee has also highlighted the critical importance of addressing issues related to grid connections and energy storage to effectively decarbonise the economy. Failure to resolve these challenges could jeopardise the achievement of net zero goals, according to their findings.

The Environmental Audit Committee has unveiled its latest report titled ‘Net zero and UK shipping’, addressing crucial aspects of decarbonising the maritime industry.

All-Party Parliamentary Groups

As of 30th May, all APPG’s have ceased to exist due to the dissolution of Parliament. The following activity occurred before this.

Environment APPG

The Environment APPG has called for climate and nature leadership during this election campaign. They have called for meeting goals such insulating homes, reducing air pollution, and building affordable green energy.

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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