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SDC responds to Defra funding decision
22 July 2010
Will Day, Chair of the Sustainable Development Commission, today (Thursday 22 July) expressed his disappointment at Defra’s announcement that it intends to withdraw its funding for the SDC from the next financial year, and paid tribute to the Commission’s ten years of putting sustainability on the political map.
Will said: “We are deeply disappointed that the Government has announced its intention to withdraw its funding from the Sustainable Development Commission. Our work has delivered efficiency savings totalling many times what the organisation has cost the Government, and contributed towards much greater sustainability in Government – both in the way it runs itself, and the decisions it makes about our wellbeing and our future.
“The passion and commitment of our commissioners and staff has kept the SDC at the forefront of sustainable thinking. Our work has further benefited from the close collaboration of a wide range of partners over the years – from the Government Departments and Devolved Administrations with whom we have worked through issues of policy and practice; to the many organisations, professionals and individuals who have contributed their expertise and perspective. Though too many to list, their contribution has helped ensure the consistently high quality of the SDC’s work.
“We note the commitment of the Secretaries of State for Defra and DECC to playing a lead role on sustainable development across Government. We await with interest the details of how a degree of cross-government independent scrutiny is to be achieved. However, what is important now is that the objectives we have championed – of properly balancing the needs of society, the economy and the environment as we respond to the pressing challenges ahead – find their way to the heart of all Government decision making.
“It will be particularly important to ensure that adequate plans are in place to ensure the UK Government can measure and verify its commitment to becoming the ‘greenest government ever’. The SDC will be working hard with Government and the Devolved Administrations in the weeks ahead to make sure sustainable development is given an appropriate place, and that the legacy of our cutting edge advice and hands-on capability building continue to transform the UK for a bright future.”
The announcement comes as the SDC publishes its fifth annual watchdog report on Government’s progress towards more sustainable operations. The report concludes that moves towards greater sustainability made to date are saving government £60-70 million every year, and further progress has the potential to save hundreds of millions more.