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Green Economy Report
Environmental Audit Select Committee says the Government’s deregulation agenda is stalling the green economy.
28 May 2012
Last week, the Environmental Audit Select Committee published a Report on the Green Economy, in which the associated MPs said that “the recent financial crisis has demonstrated that there are clear risks from such a market-based approach, particularly when markets do not reflect the value of nature.” Furthermore, the Committee cautioned that “plans to rationalise the UK's environmental regulations must not be a smokescreen for relaxing rules protecting our health, countryside or wildlife in a short-term pursuit of growth.”
The Report also criticised the Government’s strategy of Enabling the Transition to a Green Economy, which the Committee says is too focused on voluntary action and fails to set a clear trajectory or time-bound targets for businesses to achieve. The Committee also stated their frustration at the Government for delaying the introduction of mandatory emissions reporting for big businesses. Joan Walley MP, Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee, said "the Government promised a roadmap to a green economy, but two years in it seems to have stalled and we risk slipping back to business-as-usual.”
The report urges the Government to:
- Develop minimum sustainability standards for businesses.
- Specify how the National Accounts will incorporate natural capital data.
- Develop as with the 'fiscal mandate' for the public finances, targets for improving the state of the environment and establish associated transparency reporting mechanisms.
- Use indicators developed by the Natural Capital Committee to measure the green economy.