On the 31st of January 2023, the UK Government released its Environmental Improvement Plan 2023 (EIP) which is the first revision to the 25-Year Environment Plan (25YEP) released in 2018. The 25YEP set out a vision for a quarter-of-a-century of action to help the natural world regain and retain good health. The EIP aims to build upon the 25YEP by providing a plan on how the Government will work with landowners, communities and businesses to deliver the goals of improving the environment.
10 Environmental Goals
To achieve their vision, the EIP set out 10 goals which focus on specific targets and commitments to help the natural world regain and retain good health.
- Goal 1: Thriving plants and wildlife
- Goal 2: Clean air
- Goal 3: Clean and plentiful water
- Goal 4: Managing exposure to chemicals and pesticides
- Goal 5: Maximise our resources, minimise our waste
- Goal 6: Using resources from nature sustainably
- Goal 7: Mitigating and adapting to climate change
- Goal 8: Reduced risk of harm from environmental hazards
- Goal 9: Enhancing biosecurity
- Goal 10: Enhanced beauty, heritage, and engagement with the natural environment
Throughout the 262-page document, each of these environmental goals are analysed in full and the delivery plan is outlined.
Figure 1: Green Tree on Grass Field, UK. 
The Apex Goal – Improving Nature
The primary goal of the EIP is to improve nature. This goal is at the apex of all the plans and all other goals will help to achieve it. The EIP aims to halt the loss of biodiversity so that we can have thriving wildlife and flora. This is a huge undertaking, but it has already begun: a network of marine protected areas spanning 35,000sqm of English waters has been established and wildlife habitats the size of Dorset have been created or restored. £750 million has also been invested into tree-planting and peatland restoration through the Nature for Climate Fund.
To show that restoring nature is not just a national endeavour but also an international one, this has also sparked action on a global scale. At the UN Nature Summit COP15, a new Global Biodiversity Framework was adopted with 23 global targets, including the protection of 30% of the world’s land and 30% of its oceans by 2030.
Our environment is under a lot of pressure from climate change. Without reducing and adapting to climate change, we cannot leave it in a better state than we found it. The relationship is mutual; without nature-based solutions, we are unable to reduce climate change or adapt to it. The EIP advises that it will provide:
- An update on efforts and strategies to achieve net zero.
- A land use framework that outlines how they will balance various demands on land, such as climate mitigation and adaptation.
- The third National Adaptation Programme (NAP3), which will outline its five-year strategy to increase the UK’s climate resilience.
- Maintain their position as a leader on a worldwide scale in the fight against climate change, biodiversity loss, and land degradation while advocating for an integrated strategy for international action.
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HM Government. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (2023) Environmental Improvement Plan 2023.
 Pixabay (November 2016) on Pexels.com. Last accessed on 15th February 2023. Available at: https://www.pexels.com/photo/green-tree-on-grass-field-during-daytime-53435/