Environmental issues need passion

Written by: Jo Gallacher | Published:
Jo Gallacher is editor of RWW

It's back to school for our politicians in what will no doubt be a turbulent time given the UK is set to leave the EU in just six months’ time.

As talks of deals and no deals rattle on, falling on the tired ears of the public no doubt, let’s hope government can hold true on its promise of leaving the environment in a better state than it left it.

After using the phrase in practically every environmental speech, consultation launch and policy announcement over the past 12 months, it would be rather embarrassing if this didn’t turn out to be the case.

Last month I was inspired by French minister Nicolas Hulot who resigned live on air in a dramatic announcement even President Emmanuel Macron was shocked by.

Hulot said he had felt “all alone” after a series of disappointments in attempts to address climate change and other environmental threats. Unprofessional yes, but I was struck by his honesty and avidity to the cause.

I would gravely dislike our ministers to take on similar martyrdom, particularly given the stream of resignations in both government and opposition, but Hulot provided a great example of passion and candour I’d love to see echoed in government, business and the wider resource industry.

My job means I am often fortunate enough to meet individuals of this calibre, one of which is this month’s cover star Hugo Tagholm, chief executive of Surfers Against Sewage.

His decade-long efforts to move plastics pollution and marine conservation up the public agenda have helped contribute massively to the lively plastics debate we continue to witness, demonstrating just how far motivation and passion can take you.

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