Commenting on today’s Queen’s Speech, IEMA Director of Policy and External Affairs Martin Baxter said:

“Whilst IEMA welcomes the confirmation that the Environment Bill will continue its course, it is ‘third time lucky’ for this Bill and essential that it receives Royal Assent as soon as possible. The natural environment cannot wait a moment longer and we need the new environmental governance process in place to ensure we protect and enhance our natural capital and ecosystems.

There is much work to do to establish long-term environmental targets, integrate environmental principles into whole-of-government policy making and ensure that the new ‘green watchdog’, the Office for Environmental Protection, sets off on the right footing. IEMA is working with government in each of these areas and will continue to do so to tackle the significant environmental challenges we face.

2021 is a landmark year for the environment and climate change, with COP26 taking place in Glasgow in November. We need to put sustainability at the heart of the Covid-19 recovery. Skills for a sustainable economy and the transition to a net-zero future require investment in learning. Up-skilling the UK workforce so that everyone can play their part and benefit from the opportunities of the green industrial revolution – in this context, the commitment to bring forward a new Bill to provide a lifetime learning guarantee is welcomed.

The announcement that a new Planning Bill will be introduced to speed up development consent must be consistent with delivering the long-term environmental targets and improvements set through the Environment Bill. High-quality impact assessment that integrates social and environmental considerations is critical to ensuring development is sustainable.”

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Martin Baxter

Martin Baxter leads on IEMA's policy and external engagement activity. He works in the UK, and internationally, to support the transition to a low carbon, resource efficient, and sustainable economy.