Next UK Government must address environment and sustainability skills shortfall

In a report released today by the Society for the Environment, IEMA has said the UK must take a strong leadership position in the Paris 2015 international climate change negotiations to ensure an effective agreement and framework is established.

IEMA – along with other Society for the Environment bodies – has contributed to the Environment: Policy recommendations from across the professions report which sets out the key environmental priorities for the next Government.

In the opening section authored by IEMA, it states “A step change is needed if we are to meet carbon reduction targets for avoiding dangerous climate change... The true test of climate leadership is about sustaining the implementation of policies to achieve long-term climate goals” to ensure global GHG emissions peak at the earliest opportunity, consistent with a maximum 2oC warming”.

IEMA also recommends that embedding Environment and Sustainability skills across mainstream education will prove to be an “imperative” move for the next Government. In the Planting the environment across education chapter, IEMA states: “Addressing the shortfall in skills to meet critical environment and sustainability challenges is an imperative. It’s not just a green issue, it goes right to the heart of ensuring that the UK economy can be transformed to one that is sustainable over the long-term and can compete globally.” This reinforces IEMA’s 2014 research which found that just 13% of organisations are fully confident that they have the necessary skills on board to successfully compete in a sustainable economy.

The Society for the Environment report also addresses protecting the UK’s natural capital, the energy challenge and building a resilient UK. Martin Baxter, IEMA’s Executive Director – Policy & Engagement, today welcomed the development and launch of the report, saying: “Regardless of which party forms the next Government, they should look at this report as a guiding light from the professions on what action needs to be taken to protect our environment, our economy and upskill the UK’s workforce. IEMA lends its full support to today’s publication and its collaborative policy calls”.