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New Government right to prioritise leading by example on emissions

14 May 2010

  • Evidence points to additional financial and economic benefits of cutting carbon
  • UK capable of leading the way internationally with commitment on greening public sector

The Sustainable Development Commission (SDC) has hailed the new Government’s commitment to cut public sector emissions by 10% in 12 months as an excellent signal.

SDC Chair Will Day said: "The Prime Minister is right to make cutting emissions one of his first commitments, and to commit to leading by example by putting the Government’s house in order first. The Government clearly needs to scale up its efforts if it is to live up to the UK’s world-leading Climate Change Act. This is an excellent first step, which has the potential pay dividends in terms of saving public money through energy efficiency, and contributing towards a sustainable, low-carbon economy for the future.

"When the SDC first reported on Government’s sustainability performance in 2005, the carbon footprint of its offices was still rising rapidly on 1990 levels. Last year, we reported a 10% reduction across Government – the equivalent of at least £16M savings on bills. Making further cuts in emissions will be good for the Government and the UK as a whole, and we look forward to working with Departments to make this the first step towards putting the UK at the forefront of international action on emissions."

The SDC is the UK Government’s official sustainability watchdog, holding Government to account to ensure the needs of society, the economy and the environment are properly balanced in the policy decisions it makes and the way it runs itself.

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