Liz Truss takes the helm amid calls for urgent action on climate crisis

Environmental organisations are calling on the new Prime Minister Liz Truss to take urgent action to tackle the climate crisis and improve the UK’s food system.

Yesterday afternoon it was announced that Liz Truss would be the next Conservative Party Leader and Prime Minister after being voted in by party members.

She beat competitor and former chancellor Rishi Sunak, after winning 81,326 votes over Sunak’s 60,339, and receiving support from multiple MPs including Suella Braverman, Sajid Javid and Kwasi Kwarteng.

Now, the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) is urging the new Prime Minister to prioritise tackling the twin crises of climate change and the soaring cost of living.

Big Ben, London

Ross Matthewman, Head of Policy and Campaigns at the CIEH, said: ‘We at CIEH urge Prime Minister Truss to prioritise strengthening environmental health measures as a means of both meeting these urgent challenges, as well as ensuring the UK remains a world leader in meeting our climate change objectives.

‘Whether through immediate policies such as freezing energy bills, reversing the quarterly price cap, and targeted energy efficiency measures to better insulate the poorest households, or through long-term measures such as enhancing air quality targets, tighter regulation of water companies dumping raw sewage in our waterways, or ensuring new trade deals either meet or enhance or food standards. Prioritising environmental health policies should be at the forefront of this new administration and we at CIEH look forward to proactively engaging the new government on these urgent and important issues.’

Additionally, the Soil Association has written an open letter to Truss, calling for policies which address issues with the British food system.

‘As the country reels from the sweltering heatwave and continuing drought, food banks become overwhelmed by demand and millions of people brace themselves for soaring energy prices, there has never been a more important time for strong leadership from government,’ reads the letter. ‘We need a bold vision for farming, food and forestry; one built upon compassion and optimism, for this and future generations, and we need that vision backed by immediate action.’

The organisation is requesting universal free school meals for all Key Stage Two children across England, increased funding for school meals, so food standards aren’t cut, and for funding to be aimed at British, sustainable farmers to revise buying standards.

Campaigners are calling for a roll out and development of Environmental Land Management Schemes and Sustainable Farming Incentives to protect soils and encourage tree growth.

The Soil Association has also encouraged the government to employ its Food for Life scheme to that promote healthy, sustainable food, and food education from an early age.

Photo by Marcin Nowak


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