Following today’s State Opening of Parliament by Her Majesty The Queen, IEMA has issued a comment which expresses disappointment in the continued lack of spotlight on Environment and Sustainability issues.

“IEMA Members were disappointed by the prominence that environment and sustainability issues had throughout the election campaign and it is frustrating that this has continued with today’s opening of Parliament. Energy security and ‘tackling climate change’ were the most prominent of the minimal references made in this direction. With the UK’s economic recovery and future prosperity absolutely dependent on the health and wealth of the environment I think today’s underplay of these issues is disappointing.”

“A Government truly committed to creating long-term economic security and prosperity would also recognise the clear need to play a leadership role in stimulating a sustainable economy; that means domestically and addressing global challenges on the international stage. On climate change - the Paris Conference of Parties is a key opportunity to do just that – but, actions at the EU level, to develop an effective circular economy package, and at home, to address key air quality issues, must also be a primary focus.”

“Today’s Queen’s speech suggests this Government has far to go in developing its thinking to maximise opportunities to create the right environment for the UK to fully transition to a sustainable economy.”

In the 12 weeks leading up to the recent UK General Election IEMA conducted a series of poll amongst Members to establish what the profession wanted to see the new Governemnt prioritise upon. In the fifth and final poll, 89% said they were not happy with the overall attention given by the major parties to environment and sustainability concerns. Members felt that critical long-term sustainability issues were too low on the agenda, or completely missing from debate. 68% said risks from the changing climate have been missing, 55% say resource threats should have had greater prominence and 49% feel that renewable energy needed more discussion.