In March the European Environment Agency published its State and Outlook Environment Report (SOER) 2015 (available here). The report highlights innovations in governance needed for long term sustainability. In addition, a section of the SOER website highlights global megatrends affecting the European Environment, one of which is Diversifying Approaches to Governance. Authors suggest key factors in diversifying...
How should we account for the fact that a great deal of environmental damage associated with one’s own country actually occurs overseas? For example, Chinese manufacturers making our shoes, electronics and bicycles emit a lot of carbon on our behalf. Are these emissions on our ‘to do’ list in terms of the task of reducing overall global emissions?...
The Aarhus Convention (UNECE Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters) has been ratified by 46 countries and the EU. It is rights-based, enabling current and future people to access information in government decision-making on any matters concerning the local, national and transboundary environment. It also promotes...
Halina argues that a core challenge is to balance national strategic priority-setting with local community engagement. Using the example of on-shore windfarms, she sets out the questions that need answering: what processes of deliberation?, how far can local choice go?, or when and how can central planning provide leadership?
Following the suggestions of Intergenerational Foundation’s report Hoarding of Housing: the intergenerational crisis in the housing market, Halina argues that the UK Government has no consistent approach to future generations, and that ‘future generation’ arguments are often used to justify taking things away in the present.
FDSD joined 28 other organisations, including the National Trust and the Town and Country Planning Association, to call for the then Localism Bill (now Localism Act) to be amended to include a definition of sustainable development.
FDSD and WWF-UK argued that sustainable development should be a central organizing principle of national and local government alongside constitutional, legislative and executive protections.
Halina Ward believes that the UK’s Sustainable Communities Act, 2007 takes a conservative approach to sustainable development, seeing economic, social and environmental issues separately, rather than creating an “integrated approach to decision-making”.
Halina Ward uses the example of eco-town proposals by the UK central government to illustrate the tensions between top-down sustainability planning and local needs. She argues for the development of processes that marry the two successfully, rather than allowing only for central imposition or local undeliberated responses.