Government plans to rationalise the UK’s environmental regulations must not be a smokescreen for relaxing rules protecting the environment, says the Environmental Audit Committee.
MPs believe that green investment should play a key role in the UK’s economic recovery and that environmental regulations are an important role to safeguarding our health and environment.
Environmental Audit Committee chair Joan Walley MP said: “The Government promised a roadmap to a green economy, but two years in it seems to have stalled and we risk slipping back to business as usual.
“Rising global demand for commodities and fossil fuels mean that prices will continue to rise in future, so it is incredibly short sighted of the treasury not to give businesses clear incentives to use resources in a smarter way. Making businesses report their carbon emissions is one of the first steps we need to take on the road to a green economy.”
In its report, Enabling the Transition, the Environmental Audit Committee has warned that the Government’s strategy is too focused upon voluntary action and it fails to set clear economic targets for businesses to achieve.
The report urges the Government to:
- develop minimum sustainability standards with stakeholders and businesses
- set out how data on natural capital in the national accounts will be used
- targets or improving the state of the environment, similar to the ‘fiscal mandate’
- establishing transparent reporting against such targets and using the Natural capital committee’s work on a ‘natural asset stock check’.