ENVIRONMENTAL AUDIT COMMITTEE

2 March 2005 REPORT PUBLICATION


2 March 2005 REPORT PUBLICATION

The World Summit on Sustainable Development 2002: a UK Progress Report

The Environmental Audit Committee publishes today its Third Report of Session 2004-05 on The World Summit on Sustainable Development 2002: a UK Progress Report.  The Report comments upon the content and conclusions of a briefing prepared for the Committee by the National Audit Office on Mechanisms for UK delivery on commitments arising from the World Summit on Sustainable Development (2002). That briefing is attached as an Appendix to the Report.

The Committee notes that although some progress has been made by the Government with regard to the Table of Commitments it developed in the aftermath of the World Summit in 2002, this progress has been patchy.  Given the growing concern about the environment across the country, particularly with regard to the impacts of man-made climate change, the Committee is anxious for the Government to speed up its work in this area and to ensure that all government departments involved in plans of action in the wake of the World Summit commit themselves equally and with enthusiasm to the task.

The Committee is concerned that the new Sustainable Development Strategy shortly to be published by Government should give proper focus to the commitments established since the World Summit.  It also expresses the hope that its successor Committee in the new Parliament will examine in more detail the progress made since 2002.

Peter Ainsworth MP, Chairman of the Environmental Audit Committee, said "We are very grateful for the work the NAO has done for us in providing this initial briefing.  Progress against WSSD commitments has evidently been variable and there are disconcerting gaps in the overall picture.  This causes the Committee some concern and we hope for renewed effort in the wake of the publication of the new Sustainable Development Strategy."

Notes for Editors

The report published today by the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) is its Third Report of Session 2004-05 The World Summit on Sustainable Development 2002: a UK Progress Report HC 672. Details of all the Committee's press releases together with its Reports, oral evidence and other publications, are available on the Committee's website.

The Report comments on a briefing prepared for the Committee by the National Audit Office (NAO).  This briefing is itself a response to the Committee's recommendation in its Twelfth Report of Session 2002-03, The World Summit on Sustainable Development 2002 - From Rhetoric to Reality, HC98-I.  More work in this area from the NAO carried out for EAC will follow during the year.

Any press inquiries for the NAO should be directed to one of its press officers, Barry Lester, on 020 7798 7937.