Not really sustainable after all

Posted in: Comment

Defra announced yesterday that it is to stop funding the Sustainable Development Commission [SDC] from next April.   The Secretary of State's written notice says:

On sustainability ... we are determined to play the lead role across the whole of government. We will mainstream sustainability, strengthen the government’s performance in this area and put processes in place to join up activity across government much more effectively. I am not willing simply to delegate this responsibility to an external body.


"Focusing responsibility for sustainable development policy within Defra will improve accountability, avoid duplication and lead to essential efficiencies."

Put another way: we don't want any more advice from outsider experts, thanks all the same.

Well, fittingly, and as we all know, want and need are two quite different things.

Posted in: Comment


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  • Quite so ... I think 'essential efficiencies' may be a key idea in all this. Is austerity to be the key strategy for 'the greenest government ever'?

    Spend not, want not, waste not - that sort of thing?

  • Sustainable development was an interesting idea, but hey, it was never going to last. Nobody could agree where it was heading! And the trouble with sustainability was that some people thought it was a human capacity, and others thought it was an idyllic end state - so no agreement there either. Pretty tricky all round, and not the sort of topics any sane Minister would want to give speeches about. Much safer to keep it under wraps and say: Don't worry, we are dealing with it!

    So, back to Environmental Education.... ?

  • Nick, if I was a betting person, I would put a fiver on it ...

  • ... though I have just picked up a copy of a letter from Jane Davidson reaffirming her commitment to sustainability as a core principle in Wales, including any direct partnership commitments there with the SDC. So, the kingdom is disunited on this matter, it seems.