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Viewpoints by MPA Chief Executive Nigel Jackson

Never Assume Supply

‘Told you’! It should be no surprise that with so much pent-up demand being unleashed at once, that pre-Covid supply capacities and rhythms would be tested as the economy recovered. 

But for the mineral products industry and its family of essential materials, that’s mainly affecting bagged cement for builders who buy from merchants. To put this in perspective, that particular material ‘flow’ represents about three days in the annual pipeline of overall mineral product supply. An important three days, admittedly, because of the amplifying effect it has across the domestic home improvements and landscaping markets.

Published: Summer 2021


Delivering both Net Zero and Net Gain

These are serious times for many species, habitats and our planet. Unlike the army of ‘armchair experts’, the mineral products industry is focussed on delivering action, as it has been for the past 30 years.

Next year (2021), COP 26 (the 26th UN Climate Change Conference) in Glasgow will be another important step towards confronting the harsh realities we all face. It should prove to be the most ‘can-do’ yet. I certainly hope so. MPA will be actively engaged as best we are able, sticking to the science, staying practical and
proportionate, and guided by evidence.

Published: Winter 2020


Consumption, civilisation and carbon

In the light of devastating forest fires, alarming deforestation, accelerating glacial and polar melting and the recent UN Climate Change Summit, I feel compelled to add ‘consumption’ into the climate change debate.

None of what you’re about to read is "denialist", far from it. The era of conjecture about whether and why
climate change is taking place must give way to the era of how we respond, both by mitigation and adaptation.

Published: Autumn 2019 


Less hot air, more action

I am an earth scientist who, in the early seventies, was deeply concerned about the prospect of global warming, has since witnessed the thesis become a reality, and accepts that climate change will get worse unless checked.

I live in the UK, which contributes between 1% and 2% to global greenhouse gas emissions, but can be driven to distraction believing that, provided we play our part, things will get better. At the same time, the top five emission contributors – China, USA, India, Russia and Japan – who account for nearly 60% of the world’s greenhouse gases, collectively, get worsefaster than we can get better.

Published: Summer 2019


No time for complacency

It’s not hard to be politically neutral given the country’s predicament – four political forces masquerading as two major parties, a centre ground the silent majority yearn to occupy, with no credible runner to back. Like it or not, feeling disenfranchised and populist opportunism are on the rise.

An ageing population, perhaps inhibiting a millennial world where historic attitudes can seem inward and even backwardlooking, conflicts with a younger generation, who are more attuned to issues around gender, race, nationality and migration, and are challenging conventional wisdoms! Is it any wonder that so much in politics seems to be more about division rather than unity?

Published: Autumn 2018


We have done localism . . . now we need some strategy

Is everywhere divided? Election result after election result seems to suggest so by exposing and exacerbating splits. North and South, young and old, town and country, somewhere and anywhere.

It is hardly a surprise given the understandable political choice and force of devolution and localism that empower and ultimately fuel drift away from the body corporate. One can appreciate the comfort and security the local and smaller picture can provide, but what about the bigger picture?

Published: Summer 2018