POSTED: November 17, 2016
Politics & Enterprise

CUSP response to EAC report on ‘Sustainability and HM Treasury’

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The House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee report on the workings of the Treasury has been warmly welcomed by researchers at the Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity (CUSP).

Prof Tim Jackson, CUSP Director at the University of Surrey, said:

“The Committee’s findings confirm what we said in our evidence. The Treasury’s way of looking at policies and projects is hopelessly short-term in its approach. Whatever decisions are made now on transport and energy infrastructure have consequences we are stuck with for many decades, yet the Treasury’s methods for evaluating policy proposals have a time horizon of something like 5 years. This makes civil service advice no better than the outlook of a politician with their eyes constantly fixed on the next election.”

He welcomed the fact that the Committee report quotes chapter and verse on particular examples of the Treasury’s failed approach, such as its sudden moves closing down key Government policies on climate change, which damaged business confidence in both the building industry and new energy technologies.

The report’s recommendations for regular appraisals of the environmental implications of budget and spending decisions are in line with the proposals put forward by CUSP. 


[1]  The report ‘Sustainability and HM Treasury’ from the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee, was published on Thursday, 17 Nov 2016, and can be downloaded on the Parliament website.

[2] The submissions by CUSP can be accessed here.

[3]  The examples of the Treasury’s approach being referred to here are the abrupt cancellation of the Government’s Zero Carbon Homes policy and the Carbon Capture and Storage Commercialisation competition.

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