Warning on UK environmental trends

Sustainable development committee calls for immediate action on climate, traffic, farming, waste

The UK's official multi-stakeholder committee on sustainable development today called for "immediate action" on key unsustainable trends, including climate change, traffic, waste, agriculture, poverty and social investment. The round table on sustainable development accused the government of "complacency" over greenhouse gas emissions.

The round table, which is shortly to be subsumed into a new sustainable development commission, was responding to a first official baseline report on 150 sustainable development indicators, including 15 headline indicators (ENDS Daily 10 December 1999). It welcomed the initiative but disagreed with the government's assessment of several indicators, concluding that more should be shown as "red for danger".

Focusing on climate, where the government awarded itself a green light for being on track to exceed the UK's Kyoto protocol commitment of a 12.5% emissions cut by 2008-2012, the round table said more should be done. Official targets "are not nearly ambitious enough" for the longer term, said the group's chairman Derek Osborn. "We believe the signal is showing red not green and that the world is still proceeding at a reckless pace towards disaster".

Follow Up:
UK round table on sustainable development, tel: +44 20 79 44 49 64. The report is due to be posted on the web soon. See also UK environment ministry press release.

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