Early in November, the House of Common’s Environmental Audit Committee produced a damning report on the Treasury’s influence on sustainability policy in the UK. The Audit Committee was able to marshal considerable evidence that “the Treasury has ridden roughshod over other departments’ objectives, changing and cancelling long-established environmental policies and projects at short notice with little or no consultation with relevant businesses and industries”.
According to the Committee, the Treasury makes judgements on the suitability of investments that “favour short-term priorities over long-term sustainability”. While the Committee offers concrete suggestions on how the Treasury might improve its appraisal procedures to incorporate sustainability concerns, this most powerful of Whitehall departments does not have a good record in responding to such criticisms.
The full report can be accessed on the Parliament website.