Environmental and climate protection: priorities for local action in 2021

Last year, for reasons of protection against Covid-19, our National Conference was held as an on-line event. However, we know that Conference Delegates value face to face interaction in talks, discussions exhibitions and networking. So this year, as we begin to recover from the pandemic, we plan to hold our National Conference in person at Aston University in Birmingham on the 18th November.

In 2021, the context for the Conference is the climate crisis and the recognition that only combined action on greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution will mitigate it. COP26, the 26th Meeting of the Parties to the UN FCCC is to be held in Glasgow in early November. Following the Paris agreement to limit global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels, a major part of COP26 will be a review of national Commitments to greenhouse gas reductions and actions taken them. Actions on climate change also have profound impacts on other aspects of environmental protection, including air quality, the use of land and the delivery of generally cleaner, more tranquil and healthier local environments. Similarly, actions taken to deliver on local environment quality have potential to deliver significant reductions in climate forcing.

The theme for our 2021 Conference reflects the importance of action at local level to deliver on climate protection and the need to harmonise this with action on air, noise and land quality. There will be a keynote address on the benefits of a combined approach to climate and environmental protection. Professor Jim Longhurst will provide an introduction and overview of the day. Alex Minshull, Sustainable City and Climate Change Service Manager at Bristol City Council will speak on the practical challenges of delivering this through local action and there will be an assessment of the potential for technology to provide solutions in support of local action.

We have two special sessions this year: on priorities for local action on environmental protection and climate change and on lessons learned for environmental protection from the Covid-19 pandemic.

There will be presentations by a leading health expert on responses to the pandemic and the importance of air quality as part of a health protection strategy in future. Experts will speak on the role of local planning and transport in delivering benefits for climate and local environmental quality and a building industry expert will speak about delivering more sustainable housing.

In our update session there will be a report on progress on the Environment Bill and EPUK Policy Committee Chairs will present report on the year’s work and plans for 2022.

The programme is planned to ensure lively discussions in the conference sessions with many opportunities for questioning speakers, networking and viewing exhibitions and displays.

The Conference will be of particular interest to

  • Local authority officials in Environmental Health, Climate Action, Contaminated Land, Planning and Transport, and Public Health Officers
  • Elected members with an environment or public health brief or interest
  • Environmental managers from the private and public sectors
  • Practitioners: Environmental businesses and consultants
  • Academics and students involved in teaching, research and learning in environmental protection
  • Environmental interest groups, Public health interest groups, and other NGOs.


Attendance at this event provides 7 hours CPD certification.


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