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Championing sustainable development in Government
27 July 2009
Will Day, Chair of the Sustainable Development Commission shares his thoughts on his new role.
I am delighted to be taking on the chairing of the SDC at a time of growing public awareness of the scale, urgency and connectedness of the complex challenges that that confront us all and that solutions to those do not lie in a 'business as usual' approach.
For the past nine years, under Jonathon Porritt's leadership, the SDC has played a vital role as holder of the 'flame' of sustainable development, as it worked to ensure that it was properly and widely understood, and adopted as a core operating principle across government.
This is not always a comfortable position to promote, but is one that needs to be pursued with increasing urgency and vigour in the months and years ahead. The Commission works hard to achieve a workable balance between its monitoring/scrutiny duty and its role as advisor, advocate and active promoter of SD principles and practice across government - not the easiest combination. However, it is the independence that lies at the heart of the SDC’s remit from government that enables it to manage the unusual and vital combination of insider/outsider influencer and critical friend.
To succeed Jonathon will be a challenge! His commitment to and passion for the subject is unrivalled and in many ways he is an impossible act to follow. However, it is an enormous privilege and therefore responsibility to do so, and I am greatly looking forward to working with my fellow Commissioners and the excellent staff at the Secretariat in London, Cardiff, Belfast and Edinburgh to see how we can build on his achievements.