Meeting environmental goals requires urgent focus on delivery


Responding to the publication of the refreshed Environmental Improvement Plan, Nick Molho, Executive Director at the Aldersgate Group, said: “Rapidly restoring nature and reversing its decline is essential for economic prosperity, the wellbeing of society and the UK’s ability to adapt to climate change. It will require all parts of society and the economy to collaborate on environmental improvements as well as careful co-ordination between the UK’s climate and environmental targets. Through the publication of today’s Environmental Improvement Plan, the Government has taken an important step forward, by bringing together in one place its vision for the environment and a delivery plan to drive progress. The Government must now build on the objectives and policy commitments contained in the delivery plan and proceed at pace with the specific policy measures that will drive private investment over the next 5 years in biodiversity, air and water quality, resource efficiency and other key environmental improvements. Growing collaboration between Westminster, devolved governments and local government will also be essential to deliver many of the Plan’s commitments on the ground, such as on rolling out local nature recovery strategies.”

Nick Molho added: “Whilst the Environment Improvement Plan contains many important commitments across a range of environmental priorities, there are some ongoing gaps in the overall environmental framework which will need to be addressed in the near future. These include the need to introduce an ambitious resource productivity target to drive greater resource efficiency across material intensive sectors of the economy beyond just packaging, and the importance of introducing outcomes focused targets and policies to deliver more rapid improvements in water quality.”

Nick Molho added: “Finally, it is welcome to see the publication of the Environmental Principles Policy Statement. A comprehensive and rapid implementation of environmental principles across all government departments is essential to drive coherent policy making and ensure every opportunity is taken to drive environmental improvements and prevent harm at an early stage.”