Posted: Tuesday 10th June 2014

Joan Walley MP, Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee of the House of Commons, delivered this message last night at CIWEM’s Annual Dinner, the premier event for water and environment sector professionals.

"Environmental stewardship must be firmly embedded at the heart of government policy. With the latest IPCC report attesting to the need for urgent action anything less is a dereliction of duty. Yet government policies continually fail to live up to the scale of what is required.

“Governments need the assistance of professionals to develop policies and solutions which will be effective and affordable. Without respected bodies like CIWEM, governments cannot successfully make the case for the action that is needed. Whilst governments must lead, they desperately need professional support and CIWEM and its members are ideally placed to provide this."

Guest speaker Joan Walley MP has been a consistent champion of the environment during her parliamentary career, raising the profile of issues including climate change, sustainable transport, renewable energy and responsible government procurement. She addressed a 300 strong audience of politicians and senior environmental professionals at Drapers’ Hall in the City of London. The dinner was hosted by CIWEM President Mike Summersgill and kindly supported by Mott MacDonald, JacksonHyder and HWH & Associates.

CIWEM Chief Executive Dr. Simon Festing said:

“Events such as this winter’s storms have really highlighted the need for the government to place the environment at the centre of policy making, emphasising the reality that we cannot master nature but must work with it. CIWEM’s members have the expertise to help the UK respond and adapt effectively to challenges such as climate change, which are amongst the gravest humanity faces.

“Joan’s comments reflect the fantastic work of our members and the growing awareness in Westminster that their expertise is needed to make our environmental policies effective. CIWEM’s members have been an important resource to politicians and decision makers in recent months, advising at the highest level on managing flooding this past winter, providing objectivity and reason on polarised debates on dredging and shale gas, and championing the resilience components of the Water Act.”

Dinner guests responded to CIWEM’s call to support the next generation of professionals by donating over £2,500 for CIWEM's youth water prize, Tomorrow's Water. Tomorrow’s Water is the Institution’s charitable initiative aimed at driving forward environmental education in schools. It provides an opportunity for young people to develop practical and innovative projects aimed at solving water-related and environmental problems for the public benefit.

CIWEM’s Annual Dinner came a day after the Institution officially launched its new headquarters: 106-109 Saffron Hill, in Farringdon, London. The development includes sustainable conference facilities and meeting rooms for hire (106 to 109), as well as ground floor serviced offices.

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