IEMA has responded to the UK Government’s launch of the 25 Year Plan for the Environment.

This morning (Thursday 11th January) the UK Prime Minister Theresa May launched the long-awaited 25 Year Plan for the Environment. Her speech covered a wide breadth of moves to restore, enhance and protect the natural environment in harmony with a strong economy and healthy and prosperous society.

IEMA followed the speech, and remarked that while there are a series of sensible and ambitious scheme and incentives emerging as part of the plan, there appears to be room for more urgency. IEMA also said that the ambitious plan will only come to life and have the right impact if backed up by the right legislation and governance.

Here is Chief Policy Advisor Martin Baxter’s comment in full:

“The Prime Minister’s speech struck the right chord in making clear connections between the environment to the economy and society, something IEMA has long championed. The plan appears to set out an ambitious vision for leaving the environment in a better pace by eliminating plastic waste, enhancing the natural environment and tackling climate change. The plan’s integration with existing policies and schemes like the Clean Growth Plan, the Industrial Strategy, the UN SDGs and the Paris Accord shows good short- and long-term thinking. We applaud all these moves. However, the plan could be accused of lacking in urgency, and the plan will only have teeth if it’s underpinned by the right legislation and strong governance, yet the Prime Minister made no mention of how the plan will be enforced.”

“The Government seems to have the bit between its teeth on tackling waste plastics. We welcome the proposal to impose a levy on disposable coffee cups and single-use plastics, and the extension on the 5p charge for plastic bags for small retailers is absolutely the right move. It’s now critically important that action begins right away to ensure this isn’t a case of “green sheen” to win over young voters but builds on Blue Planet II’s impact to create positive and lasting change at scale.

“Government has promised a Green Brexit, with the UK free to take the best from Brussels and build on this to create a world leading green economy and environment. This is the right ambition, setting us apart from a race to the bottom that would only end badly for the UK. Today the Prime Minister clearly stated that her ambition is that the UK will retain its global leadership on restoring, enhancing and protecting the environment throughout and beyond the Brexit process. This is crucial, as we need to maintain all momentum on decarbonisation and building our natural capital. The proposed consultations on creating the right policies and legislation are welcome, and IEMA and our members will be actively involved in shaping what happens next.”

Click here to read the full plan, A Green Future: Our 25 Year Plan to Improve the Environment.