Earlier in March 2016, I had the opportunity to attend one of the excellent Castle Debates, which highlight the relationships between environmental science, law and policy.
The debates were established by Pamela Castle OBE, who is the Chair and Founder of Castle Debates with a long history of engagement on environmental law issues as a former Chair of the UK Environmental Law Association & the former Head of Environmental Law at CMS Cameron McKenna.
Their aim is to:
disseminate objective factual information to anyone wishing to understand the major environmental challenges of our times
- convene a panel of leading experts to explain the science, law and public policy underpinning environmental issues
- provide an independent and impartial platform for environmental debates in the UK
I attended the debate on Government Environmental Policy: Opportunities and Threats, which was highly relevant to my work in developing the response to the new ISO 14001:2015 requirements for risk and opportunities as well as my strategic policy work in this area.
The format of the debate was for each speaker to present their arguments in 15 minutes then the discussion is opened to the floor for a question-and-answer session which lasts about an hour and turns the event into a free-ranging debate.
There were interesting perspectives on the funding of defra and DECC with future directions highlighted as well as the practical delivery to regulated organisations.
Two further Castle Debates are planned for 2016, which are to be hosted in London:
10th May 2016
Natural Capital – The Economic Need for Biodiversity
10 June 2016
Farming and Climate Change: Impacts and Solutions