According to the Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment (IEMA), 92% of it’s members who took part in a survey think the Green investment Bank (GIB) should be given powers to borrow and invest in projects that both protect and improve the UK’s natural capital.
Two thirds of IEMA members said that ultimately national needs must take priority where there is conflict between national and local built environment issues.
From 646 Members polled, 65% said that while a balance is obviously needed, nationally significant infrastructure projects must take priority.
Three quarters of IEMA’s respondents say that the current planning system is not equipped to aid the UK’s much-needed transition to a sustainable economy.
75% said that the planning system – including its legislation, policies and guidance – is not currently capable of playing the vital role necessary in order to achieve sustainable economy goals.
IEMA’s Josh Fothergill – “This poll very markedly shows that there is an opportunity for the incoming Government to take the bold decision needed to kick the UK’s transition to a sustainable economy up a gear”
Lack of action on this issue could threaten the UK’s ability to implement infrastructure projects that harmonise with the need to protect the natural environment.
Furthermore, where there are prominent regional concerns, such as the recent peak in air pollution levels in the South East of England, IEMA members said that these should not be left to local authorities alone; in fact 89% of respondents say that resolving the UK’s poor air quality is a critical priority for the next Government.
Making significant progress on improvements to air quality will benefit the environment as well as human health and well-being, as poor air quality is currently linked to 29,000 premature deaths each year.
IEMA’s Policy Lead on planning and environmental impact Josh Fothergill said: “This poll very markedly shows that there is an opportunity for the incoming Government to take the bold decision needed to kick the UK’s transition to a sustainable economy up a gear. In particular professionals using the Planning system indicate it must play an enhanced role in this transition.”
The Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment (IEMA) is the professional home of over 15,000 environment and sustainability professionals from around the globe. IEMA’s role is to support individuals and organisations to set, recognise and achieve global sustainability standards and practice.