Robert Ashcroft
28 April 2017

IES urges parties to incorporate environmental commitments in manifestos

The IES have written to all major political parties today urging commitments are made to improve the state of the UK environment, and to embed sustainability at the heart of government, in their election manifestos.

We have contacted environmental spokespeople from the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats, Greens, UKIP, SNP, Plaid Cymru, Social Democratic and Labour Party, Sinn Fein, and Ulster Unionist Party to emphasise the importance of sustaining a healthy economy and society through enhanced investment in the environment and green economy.

Some progress has been made in recent years, such as the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 2030 Agenda, but today the UK still faces major environmental challenges which must be addressed. With vast uncertainty in the current political climate, we have urged that the following commitments are made in the parties' manifestos, regardless of the outcome in the upcoming general election:

  • To maintain, or improve, standards of environmental protection after leaving the European Union (EU).
  • To develop and publish a long-term, 25-year plan for the environment, which includes targets, measures and has roots in legislation.
  • To reassert the UK's commitment to reducing emissions of greenhouse gases, and our international obligations under the Paris Agreement, and to meeting domestic targets and obligations, as established in the Climate Change Act 2008.
  • To publish a plan to tackle the air pollution crisis in many of the UK's urban areas as an urgent priority, and dedicate all necessary resources to improving the state of the UK's air quality and bring the UK in line with EU limit values for nitrogen dioxide pollution as soon as possible.
  • To establish Cabinet level responsibility for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals in the UK, and to consult on a plan for their effective domestic delivery as soon as possible.
  • To embed and ensure an evidence-based approach to policy- and decision-making across government.

The IES does not support or endorse any political party, but promotes an evidence-based approach to decision and policy making. We are devoted to championing the crucial role of environmental science in ensuring a healthy and sustainable society, economy and environment.