COMMONS

Environmental Audit Committee - role

Welcome to the Environmental Audit Committee's website.

The remit of the Environmental Audit Committee is to consider the extent to which the policies and programmes of government departments and non-departmental public bodies contribute to environmental protection and sustainable development, and to audit their performance against sustainable development and environmental protection targets. In the previous Parliament (2005-2010), the Committee’s programme included inquiries on climate change and environmental fiscal measures (‘green taxation’), as well as sustainable development and environmental protection.

Unlike most select committees, the Committee’s remit cuts across government rather than focuses on the work of a particular department.

The Committee was established in November 1997 reflecting a manifesto commitment on the part of the incoming Labour government. The proposal for a single committee to look at the environmental impact of all government departments can be traced back, through the 1994 Labour party policy document In Trust for Tomorrow, to a submission to the Procedure Committee from Friends of the Earth in 1990.

From its beginning in 1997, in carrying out its environmental 'audit' role the Committee has had extensive support from the National Audit Office, providing seconded staff and research and briefing papers.