Ahead of the UK General Election on 4th July, the Environmental Policy Forum (EPF) is pleased to outline the environmental priorities the next government must implement with urgency during its time in office.

Working together as a coalition of professional bodies and learned societies, the EPF promotes environmental sustainability and resilience for the public benefit. Collectively we represent over 110,000 qualified professionals across a wide range of different specialised disciplines.

This publication comes a matter of days after the EPF announced the expansion of our collective expertise by welcoming our newest member, the Institution of Royal Engineers. The sectors represented by EPF now include engineering, ecology, environmental sciences, water, forestry, fisheries, environmental management, health, and resource and land management.

Our three cross-cutting and seven thematic priorities for the next government are, as follows:

Cross-cutting priorities

  1. Improve environmental governance to ensure effective policy delivery.         
  2. Unlock the enormous social, economic and environmental potential of green jobs and skills.      
  3. Take a holistic approach to land use.

Thematic priorities

  • Ensure soils are treated as a valuable resource.        
  • Deliver on our 30×30 commitment to reverse biodiversity decline.           
  • Transform the UK agricultural and food system, to secure the UK’s access to sustainable sources of food.  
  • Prioritise water resilience to deliver a ‘Fresh Water Future’.  
  • Increase ambitions and holistic action for a country with cleaner air.      
  • Deliver a truly circular economy.       
  • Unlock investment in low carbon technologies to deliver net zero.   

Each priority contains specific asks for policymakers, which should be achieved through support from business.

Professor William Pope HonFSE CEnv CSci, EPF Chair, said:“The UK faces a Climate Emergency and Biodiversity Crisis and action to tackle these challenges is falling behind what is required. In setting out a list of ten clear environmental priorities, this publication is intended to demonstrate cross-sector consensus for action and focus minds on what must be done over the coming five years and beyond. On behalf of our extensive professional network, we look forward to working with the next government to deliver on these priorities and the tremendous opportunities for business development and economic growth that they present.”

Sarah Ridgeon MCIPR, EPF Secretariat, said: “If I was to stress a couple of keywords that define our environmental priorities for the next UK government, I would emphasise the need for a joined-up approach and evidence-based policy. In our publication, we have demonstrated the interconnectedness of our priorities. Taking a joined-up approach, underpinned by evidence-based policy and regular consultation with experts, is essential to delivering on these priorities and achieving better outcomes for the environment, the economy and society as a whole.”

To view our priorities in full including specific asks, please visit: www.envpolicyforum.org.uk/priorities-next-government-2024

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