ET launched by Environment Agency boss

The Environment Agency's chief executive Baroness Barbara Young launched ET 2005 on Tues, May 24 with a speech about the importance of industry participation in efforts to clean up the planet.

Baroness Young addressed an enthusiastic audience praising ET for bringing people together and offering a wealth of information to all those concerned about the environment, whether that interest stemmed from a personal passion or commercial necessity.

She also highlighted the vital role the UK had to play in the environmental arena this year with its presidency of the G8 and European Union.

“This gives us a wonderful opportunity to show our commitment to environmental issues, particularly climate change, and to really put the environment at the centre of debate,” she said.

She also used the speech as a platform to announce the EA’s soon-to-be released report on the state of the environment.

The Baroness said the full details of the report were still under wraps and were due to be released next month.

But she gave edie a sneak preview of some of the main findings.

“We did a report for the millennium and this is an update for 2005,” she said.

“It looks at what’s changed over time and includes a little bit of speculation about what has made that change happen and thoughts on what still needs to be done.

“In some areas I’m afraid to say the environment is still a basket case and things are not improving or even getting worse.

“But there are also a lot of positive areas.

“Air quality from regulated sources, from both big and small businesses, is improving and there has been a big improvement in water quality following huge investments from successive water companies.

“Billions have been invested in our water network, making it one of the largest schemes in the world.

“Unfortunately the environmental impact from SMEs and individuals like you or I from driving our cars or throwing away litter is not improving much if at all.

“The amount of household waste produced is still a problem.
“We’re also not doing too well on soils because really we don’t understand them and we’ve still got some way to go on efficient use of resources.”

She said the pressing issues could only be tackled if everyone worked together and urged delegates to make full use of the wealth of information, advice and contacts available at ET to help them with that mission.

By Sam Bond

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