Traditionally, the New Year brings an opportunity to set resolutions to harness the positive energy to tackle to new, as yet, unknown challenges of the 12 months that lie ahead.
On a wider canvas, international agreements, such as the Paris Agreement which was ratified in November 2016 as well as the Montreal Protocol will provide a clear platform for global action on climate change. It is rewarding to see so many countries willing to work together in a common aim for the benefit for all.
To support businesses, there are many glimmers of optimism, such as a number of development in new International Standards to support more effective accredited ISO 14001 certification, which should be welcomed, not as an end in themselves but as a positive reinforcement of the benefits of environmental performance and compliance that can be gained through an Environmental Management System based on ISO 14001.
Some of the known challenges from 2016 remain for resolution in 2017 and onwards:
For the USA, there is a new President-elect, Donald Trump and his Administration, that will shape US environmental policy and regulation for the next five-years. There are many concerns about the possibilities of a more climate sceptic Administration, maybe even about an environmental sceptic one & its impact on global relationships.
For the United Kingdom and the European Union, we are currently experiencing much smoke without fire until it is clear what are the UK intentions for a “hard”, “soft”, “red, white and blue” or any other shade of Article 50 strategy & how the European Union and its Member States will react especially in a year with so many national elections in key states, such as France and Germany.
I have my own views on the challenges for the New Year, which I can share as the year unfolds, & I hope to share positive news on how we can make contributions, large and small, to make a real difference in 2017.
I am sure that you will have your own predictions for environmental impacts in 2017 from your perspective & welcome your comments on issues that impact you, your family and friends & businesses.