Sustainable development

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The page will automatically redirect to Sustainable Development Research Briefings produced by the Commons Library, Lords Library and POST

Content published before December 2016

This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on sustainable development. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

Commons Briefing Papers

13.07.2016Sources of Statistics: Energy
This introductory guide provides sources of statistics on energy in the UK.
01.12.2014The Forestry Commission and the sale of public forests in England
This note sets out information on the sale of public forests managed by the Forestry Commission
05.03.2012The Rio+20 UN conference on sustainable development
From 20-22 June 2012 the UN will hold a conference on sustainable development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, twenty years on from the 'Earth Summit' of 1992, also held in Rio. This note sets out the likely agenda for the conference and some surrounding political issues.
27.02.2012The Water Industry (Financial Assistance) Bill 2010-12
The Water Industry (Financial Assistance) Bill contains two measures. One will give the Government the discretion to reduce water bills in certain regions. The other will give the Government the discretion to provide financial assistance for major water and sewage infrastructure projects. Initially the Government plans to use these powers to reduce water bills in the South West of England and to support the Thames Tunnel project.
13.07.2011Energy from waste and incineration
This note looks at the role of energy from waste and incineration.
30.03.2011Eco Towns
This note describes the Government programme of new settlements based on ecological principles, along with comment and criticism.
24.02.2010Sustainable Communities Act 2007 (Amendment) Bill [Bill 21 of 2009-10]
The Bill seeks to amend the 2007 Act by setting a deadline for the Secretary of State to initiate the next round of proposals for enhancing the sustainability of local communities from local authorities under the Act. It provides for regulations to be made specifying the rules for this process. These are also to cover parish council involvement and the role of local petitioning. There is also provision for greater flexibility in decision-making on proposals.
22.11.2007Housing and Regeneration Bill, Bill 8 of 2007-08
Housing and Regeneration Bill. (Bill 8 of 2007/08). House of Commons Library Research Paper 07/79.
14.06.2007The Sustainable Communities Bill Committee Stage Report
15.01.2007The Sustainable Communities Bill


Bioenergy is the use of renewable natural material for power, heat and liquid fuels. Currently, the UK sources approximately 3% of its primary energy from bioenergy feedstocks. This POSTnote considers the opportunities and challenges of producing bioenergy sustainably to meet greenhouse gas reduction targets.
20.03.2012Seeking Sustainability
Sustainability is the long term maintenance and enhancement of human well-being within finite planetary resources. It is usually considered to have environmental, economic, and social dimensions. This POSTnote summarises issues in defining and achieving sustainability
01.05.1991World population
This POSTnote examines the underlying trends in global population, the reasons for them, their implications and related issues. POSTnote 25. POST. 1991.

Select Committee Reports

07.09.2011Sustainable development in the Localism Bill.
Government response. Environmental Audit Select Committee; Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs report [Commons]
16.03.2011Sustainable development in the Localism Bill.
Environmental Audit Select Committee report [Commons]
16.12.2010Embedding sustainable development across government, after the Secretary of State's announcement on the...
Environmental Audit Select Committee report [Commons]
13.10.2009Sustainable development in a changing climate.
Government response. Department for International Development; International Development Select Committee report [Commons]
20.05.2009Sustainable development in a changing climate.
International Development Select Committee report [Commons]

Early Day Motions

That this House notes that the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) marks its 40th anniversary on 24 October 2011; further notes that IIED was launched in ...
That this House supports the Government's aspiration to be the greenest ever; recognises the Sustainable Development Commission's progress to date in monitoring and increasing the sustainability ...
That this House congratulates Leicester City on its position as the UK's second most sustainable city in the Forum for the Future's Sustainable Cities Index; notes that Leicester has ...
That this House welcomes the recent independent evaluation of the Sustainable Development Fund in National Parks undertaken by Land Use Consultants; notes the finding that the 9.9 ...
That this House welcomes the involvement of the many communities and local authorities in the first round of proposals from the Sustainable Communities Act 2007 and is especially heartened ...


  • Commons Briefing Papers (CBP) Papers providing in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POSTnotes (POST PN) - proactive four-page policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on reviews of the research literature, interviews with stakeholders and peer review, commissioned by the POST Board
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - authored publications by the research section of the House of Lords Library that provide analysis of Bills, subjects for debate in the House and other issues of interest to Members.
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses