A poll of members of the Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment (IEMA) has revealed overwhelming support for environment and sustainability issues removed from party politics during the next parliament and instead becoming the focus of cross-party support.
The poll showed that 93 percent of IEMA members strongly back the concept of crucial environment and sustainability issues requiring cross-party support, similar to recent calls to remove the NHS from stop/start party politics. It says critical issues should have cross-party support to resolve and develop new policies.
IEMA says that without this cohesive approach, its members have been left “frustrated and disappointed by the lack of prominence that environment and sustainability issues have had in the Election campaign”.
From the poll’s respondents, 89 percentsaid they were not happy with the overall attention given by the major parties to environment and sustainability concerns. When asked who they believe is the strongest party leader on climate issues, the leaders of the three main parties gained just 22 percent of the vote. Natalie Bennett of the Green Party continues to top the leaderboard, with 45 percent saying she demonstrates the strongest leadership on climate issues.
IEMA Members feel that critical long-term sustainability issues have been too low on the agenda, or completely missing from debate. 68% said risks from the changing climate have been missing, 55% say resource threats should have had greater prominence and 49% feel that renewable energy needed more discussion.
IEMA’s Josh Fothergill said: “There is strong feeling from the profession that some really critical issues have not had appropriate prominence during the Election campaign. Each party had a real opportunity to bring these important issues to the fore. Doing so would have been a wise move as these issues are absolutely vital to the future of the UK’s economy and wellbeing of the UK electorate.
“We certainly hope that the incoming Government focuses on these issues during their first 100 days in Parliament otherwise there is a risk that the UK’s economic, social and environmental prosperity will decrease and we will lose out on the growth opportunities of a sustainable economy.