During 2000, the Government proposed to establish a new Sustainable Development Commission, as proposed in the White Paper A better quality of life, replacing the existing Government Panel and the Round Table. It has done so jointly with the Scottish Executive, the Welsh Assembly and the Northern Ireland Executive. There are presently 22 members of the Commission, drawn from a wide range of backgrounds and from all parts of the United Kingdom.
The Commission’s role is to advocate sustainable development across all sectors in the UK, review progress towards it, and build consensus on the actions needed if further progress is to be achieved. Its specific objectives are to:
- review how far sustainable development is being achieved in the UK in all relevant fields, and identify any relevant processes or policies which may be undermining this;
- identify important unsustainable trends which will not be reversed on the basis of current or planned action, and recommend action to reverse the trends;
- deepen understanding of the concept of sustainable development, increase awareness of the issues it raises, and build agreement on them;
- encourage and stimulate good practice.
The Commission is sponsored, within the UK Government, by the Cabinet Office and reports to the Prime Minister, the First Minister in Scotland, the First Secretary in Wales and the First and Deputy First Ministers in Northern Ireland. Its work will be of interest to a wide range of sectors and organisations. The Commission will hold its first meeting in November 2001.