New Report Critiques U.K. Environmental Performance

Efforts by the U.K. government to address environmental problems show promise, but it must try harder, says a new report entitled, um, “Shows Promise: But Must Try Harder” issued by the government’s Sustainable Development Commission. The commission was established by Prime Minister Tony Blair five years ago to assess the nation’s environmental progress and is headed by renowned U.K. enviro Sir Jonathon Porritt. The report conceded that “in comparison to most governments around the world, the U.K. government is doing a lot … and there’s clearly genuine intent to do more,” and gave Blair’s administration high marks for progress on water and air quality. However, it took the government to task for its piecemeal efforts to address global warming and lamented the “dreadful” state of U.K. traffic congestion. The broad theme of the report was that the U.K. government is “adrift” on environmental policy, and that it must embrace a fundamental shift away from economic growth at any price, away from consumption as a road to happiness, and toward “sustainable growth.”