Climate Change, Environment and Sustainability
Explore our policy work on climate change, the environment and sustainability
We work with our members to maximise the impact of microbiology in tackling climate change, environment and sustainability challenges. Here you will find our policy work that unlocks the potential of our members expertise in addressing these issues.
Our ‘A Sustainable Future’ project aimed to demonstrate how microbiology can help to achieve the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals.
The Microbiology Society submitted a written response to the Natural Resources Wales ‘Nature and Us’ survey on the future of Wales’ natural environment and the societal changes needed to protect nature. Natural Resources Wales is the principal advisor to the Welsh Government, industry and the wider public about issues relating to the Welsh environment and its natural resources.
The Microbiology Society submitted a written response to the Environmental Audit Select Committee’s Inquiry ‘Biodiversity and Ecosystems’, which examines how best to protect and enhance biodiversity whilst considering nature-based solutions to climate change and the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.
The Microbiology Society submitted a written response to the Environmental Audit Select Committee’s Inquiry ‘Greening the post-COVID’ recovery, which is looking at how to align any post-pandemic economic stimulus package with the UK’s climate and environment goals. Our response includes a call for Government to further invest in microbiological research to tackle future global challenges.
The Microbiology Society submitted written evidence to the House of Lords EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee’s Brexit: Plant and Animal Biosecurity Inquiry. The inquiry sought to map out the challenges and opportunities the Government will face in relation to plant and animal biosecurity as a result of Brexit.
The House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee launched an inquiry into UK soil health to examine the importance of soil health, how it can be measured and UK government policy on soils.
Micro-organisms infiltrate every corner of the built and natural worlds. Microbiology research deepens our understanding of the challenges we face and aids the development of policies to combat the consequences of climate change. You can read our new climate change briefing here.
The quality of soil and its suitability for growing crops has been important since humans developed agriculture. It is now known that soil microbiomes are diverse communities with complex interactions, made up of a vast array of bacteria, fungi, archaea, protists and viruses, which are crucial for carbon and nutrient cycling, plant health and even soil structure.
The EU has raised soil health as one its top 5 priorities and many global initiatives are emerging in the area of soil protection. The UK should take advantage of this increased profile to consolidate active communities working together to improve the uptake and development of new sustainable land management practices.
The circular economy is based on the principles of designing out waste and pollution, keeping products and materials in use, and regenerating natural systems.
Open and broad collaboration is essential to realising the transition of our society from a linear to a circular economy, which is interlinked with the challenge of achieving climate neutrality. Microbiologists must engage the wider public, policymakers and industry to inform the debate on addressing grand challenges and showcase the positive impacts of microbiology for society as a whole.
The need for sustained microbiology research and innovation in AMR, circular economy and soil health is imperative to help deliver the SDGs, particularly those related to poverty and hunger (SDGs 1 and 2), economic growth (SDGs 7 and 8), production and consumption (SDGs 2, 9, 11 and 12), good health and wellbeing (SDG 3) and the environment (SDGs 6, 13, 14 and 15).
Micro-organisms play crucial roles in climate change as users and producers of greenhouse gases. Climate change is increasing risks to public health and agriculture from microbial diseases. Managing and harnessing microbial processes could help us mitigate and adapt to climate change.
iStock/ Galeanu Mihai