Properly Fund Our Environmental Protection Agencies.

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2022 Water, Environment & Transport Conference
22 February 2022

This conference notes that the ambitious environmental rhetoric used by all governments in the UK stands in direct opposition to the long-term fall in resources and support for the country’s environmental protection agencies which regulate and enforce environmental legislation.

Why action is needed:

For over a decade, our environmental protection agencies have been subject to cut or frozen budgets most years, with barely any respite. In a greening world where the public looks to governments to step up and fight the challenges of climate change, pollution, plastic waste and biodiversity loss, one of the major tools at their disposal to keep polluters in check is being dismantled piece by piece. Cuts to frontline staff numbers and training, reduced inspections and enforcement action are grinding down morale of the staff that are left. Continual erosion of the Agency’s abilities to carry out their core functions will help guarantee that the UK will not have an environment fit for this and future generations.

This decade is a critical one for environmental protections – from meeting carbon targets to avert the worst effects of climate change, to preventing a collapse of the planet’s biodiversity. This country needs environmental protection fit for the 21st century.

Action sought:

Conference calls on the Water, Environment and Transport Service Group Executive, working with the NEC, Regions and other stakeholders to:

1. Campaign for a year-on-year increase of the Agency’s budgets over the next decade to redress the cuts imposed since the 2008 financial crash.

2. Campaign for assurances that restored funding makes its way to the services that need it most and is used effectively. It is time to close the UK’s enforcement gap, and to return to an approach to policymaking focused on prevention rather than cure.