Select Committee on Environmental Audit Minutes of Evidence



ANNEX C

BRITISH GOVERNMENT PANEL ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

STATUS AND REMIT

  The Panel is a non-executive NDPB sponsored by the Cabinet Office but supported by DETR. It is UK-wide in scope:

  The Panel was appointed by the then Prime Minister in January 1994 to advise the Government on strategic issues arising from the Sustainable Development Strategy and other post-Rio reports on climate change, biodiversity and forestry. Its remit is:

    —  to keep in view general sustainability issues at home and abroad;

    —  to identify major problems or opportunities likely to arise;

    —  to monitor progress; and

    —  to consider questions of priority.

  The Government consults the Panel on issues of major importance and the Panel has access to all ministers. It keeps in touch with people in different sectors in Britain, and abreast of development in other countries.

MEMBERSHIP AND STRUCTURE

  The Convenor and five other members are appointed by the Prime Minister. They serve in a private capacity. The Convenor sits ex officio on the Round Table.

WORKING METHODS

  The Panel normally studies four topics each year (five this year), chosen after discussion with ministers. At the Panel's request, the Cabinet Office commissions position papers from revelant Government departments. The Panel invites comments, based on those papers, from outside bodies and experts, then considers the papers and comments. It publishes its conclusions and recommendations to the Government in an annual report; it recently published the fifth such report. The Panel follows up its recommendations in subsequent years. The Government responds to each report.


 
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Prepared 15 December 1999