Memorandum submitted by the Secretary
of State for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
DEFRA has worked closely with the Treasury to
ensure that sustainable development issues are considered and
reflected in Departmental bids for the 2002 Spending Review. Specific
guidance on sustainable development has been issued for the first
time and each Department has been asked to produce a sustainable
DEFRA is working with DTLR, DoH and CMPS to
develop an integrated policy (sustainability) appraisal framework
for use across Government.
DEFRA is working with DTI and OGCbuying.solutions
(the trading arm of HMT) to set up a high level, cross-government
sustainable procurement group, with I announced on 24 October.
This group will look at what can be done within the framework
of EC public procurement directives better to support sustainable
development through Government procurement.
DEFRA is working with DTLR in order to deal
with the growing problem of abandoned cars. A joint DEFRA/DTLR
consultation document was launched (31 October 2001) in order
to get dumped cars off the streets quickly and efficiently and
make our neighbourhoods better places to live. This action against
abandoned vehicles which pollute and blight the environment, present
safety hazards, and become targets for vandalism and crime, was
welcomed by the Home Office.
On November 2001, I brought together key players
to tackle the issue of waste. The Waste Summit provided a forum
for Green groups, local government, the Environment Agency and
business representatives. Discussion ranged from cutting down
on waste, to increasing recycling, and finally what to do with
waste, which cannot be avoided but also cannot be recycled. The
Summit follows publication the day before the Performance and
Innovation Unit's report on resource productivity. Making more
productive use of resources is essential for the future health
of our environment, businesses and society. I also announced that
the PIU will be working on a new study with DEFRA and other departments
to review the government's strategy for waste. Starting its study
in December, the PIU will report in summer 2002. I will be the
DEFRA has worked with DTI to produce the Government's
newly adopted Fuel Poverty Strategy (21 November 2001). The Strategy
sets out measures to ensure that no low-income or disabled household
will be in fuel poverty by 2010. Over the last five years, one
and a half million households have been removed from fuel poverty.
(Fuel Poverty is defined as people needing to spend more than
10 per cent of their household income on fuel to keep warm). The
Government intends to look at further improving this positive
record through piloting the use of cutting-edge technology that
can provide individual homes with both central heating and electricity
(micro-CHP) and renewable energy-based solutions.
DEFRA, DTLR and DTI will be publishing shortly
a consultation document on Powering Future Road Vehicles, to encourage
low carbon vehicles and fuels such as hydrogen fuel cells.