IEMA publishes assurances for incoming Environment Act
A group of leading environment, business and professional institutions has today published a list of key requirements for the UK government’s incoming Environment Act.
The Broadway Initiative said its assurances would provide the basis for private and public sector investment by setting out a long-term framework for the environment.
IEMA, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and Water UK are among the members, and have been working together to generate proposals for environmental law after Brexit.
“It is vital that the UK sets long-term objectives for protecting and improving the environment as we leave the EU,” said IEMA chief policy advisor, Martin Baxter.
“As part of the Broadway Initiative, we’ve set out the key requirements needed in the forthcoming Environment Act to establish a framework for environmental governance for the UK – in effect a new environmental constitution.”
“The act is a one-off chance to create a coherent framework to put sustainability at the heart of our economic model and enable all parts of society to plan, invest and collaborate to substantially improve the environment on which we and future generations depend.”
The assurances include a requirement for the government to define shared objectives for the environment, and to ensure policy and regulation is long term and collaborative.
The Environment Act should also include “clear principles” for incorporating the environment in policy development, and encourage early planning instead of “end-of-pipe solutions” late in the day.
Moreover, the Broadway Initiative said that the act should provide independent oversight of government progress and action, holding public sector bodies to account.
It also recommended support for a coherent approach at the UK level, and set out a framework for achieving environmental objectives alongside other social and economic ones.
Broadway Initiative convenor, Ed Lockhart, said: “It’s clear that to improve our environment in any fundamental way we need a legal framework that respects the long-term nature of environmental challenges and their solutions, and enables businesses to factor the environment into their plans and investments from the earliest stage.
“The Environment Bill is the moment to make sure that happens.”
IEMA said it would continue working as part of the Broadway Initiative to advocate for an ambitious Environment Act, and evaluate the government’s proposals based on today’s recommended assurances.
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Chris Seekings is a reporter for TRANSFORM