Green Ministers' Meeting

House of Lords written question – answered on 3rd April 2000.

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Photo of Lord Clinton-Davis Lord Clinton-Davis Labour

asked Her Majesty's Government:

When was the last meeting of Green Ministers; what was discussed; and which departments were represented by (a) Ministers and (b) officials.

Photo of Lord Whitty Lord Whitty Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions

Green Ministers held their first meeting of this year on 16 March. The Committee agreed the publication of a series of guides to help promote sustainable development and the greening of government across Whitehall and beyond. Work of Green Ministers lists all the Government's targets and commitments in this area. It is also a good summary for those who would like to understand more about the role of Green Ministers and their work. Sustainable development--what it is and what you can do helps to explain sustainable development for the ordinary civil servant. The other leaflets will help public sector bodies prepare sustainable development awareness-raising strategies and address biodiversity issues.

At the meeting, Green Ministers discussed progress on environmental management systems, travel plans and integrating the environment into policy. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Office, their Green Minister, outlined progress on greening the police and prison service as well as the main department.

Green Ministers agreed:

there should be an annual meeting of departments' senior officials responsible for sustainable development; to continue their work to make the Government's funding regimes, such as the Spending Review and the Private Finance Initiative, as sustainable as possible, including taking account of the environment; target a number of associate bodies (including non-departmental public bodies and executive agencies) and help them become models for best practice on sustainable development, encouraging others to follow suit.

Since Green Ministers' last meeting in November, the Government have agreed proposals for new energy targets. From 1 April, Government will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1 per cent a year. In addition, Green Ministers will continue to make the benchmarking of Government buildings a priority and will investigate the feasibility of reporting on emissions from transport as well as buildings.

The departments represented by Ministers were: Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions; Cabinet Office; Foreign and Commonwealth Office; Department of Health; Department of Social Security; the Chancellor's Departments; Law Officers Departments; Home Office; the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food; and the Welsh Office. Those represented by officials were: Department for International Development and Department of Trade and Industry.

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