SocEnv Response: IPCC Report Highlights Need for Coherent Strategies in Time for Green GB Week
17 October 2018
The stark report of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in Incheon, South Korea last week highlights the need for a new UK Environment Act to give legislative backing to coordinate all Government strategies alongside changes in the way we all act.
The highly anticipated IPCC report released on Monday 8th October shows that tough global rules and regulations are needed, alongside changes to the habitual ways in which we eat, heat and meet as individuals.
As the UK prepares to leave the EU, the Society is focussed on ensuring that the UK’s environmental protections do not diminish, but are instead, enhanced. The need for a new Environment Act to give legislative backing to relevant elements included within the EU Withdrawal Act and the overall outcomes of the 25 Year Environment Plan (25 YEP), alongside the creation of a new governance body outside of the EU, is evident. We should also use the IPCC report as a stark reminder of the challenges we face in the UK, and globally. This requires harmony in delivery between the 25 YEP and other government policies, such as the Industrial, Clean Growth, Road to Zero and Transport Strategies.
By the midpoint of the dates considered by the IPCC to be the current estimated time frame for the critical global 1.5°C temperature increase (2030 – 2052), we will be approaching the end of the 25 YEP. We will have almost completed the move away from avoidable plastics, we should all be on the verge of driving very low emission vehicles and we will be making widespread use of electricity generated from energy sources with low carbon emissions, particularly those that are renewable.
By adhering to the 25 YEP, and implementing the plans set out by the forthcoming Environment Act, the UK will be heading in the right direction to avoid the 1.5°C rise so feared by the IPCC. The Society believes that the Environment Act will be key to the success of the 25 YEP. For this reason, the Society is supporting the efforts of the Broadway Initiative, which is developing ideas and proposals for how to make the ambition for enhancing the environment a reality over the longer term. Broadway members include senior representatives of organisations from business, NGOs, professional bodies, and policy thinktanks and nationally recognised environmental, legal, regulatory and governance experts.
The Society also expects that despite the massive challenge for us all, the green economy, which will deliver these outcomes, will increasingly provide business opportunities and jobs. It is therefore vital that these themes are backdrops to Green GB Week starting on the 15th October 2018 and that there will be ‘joined up’ government to meet the challenges and deliver the benefits.
Dr Emma Wilcox, Chief Executive of the Society, said that “In meeting the challenges set out by the IPCC report and delivering on the opportunities, contributions from skilled and committed professionals with proven competence is critical. Chartered Environmentalists and Registered Environmental Technicians will meet their responsibilities and lead the way in business, education, policy, science and beyond.”
For more information on the Broadway Initiative, visit www.iema.net/broadway.