Thank you for contacting me about Today for Tomorrow's campaign.
I think it is absolutely right that there should be sustainable thinking in Government, and I would like to assure you that the wellbeing of future generations is at the heart of UK Government policy. We are the first major industrialised country to have set a legal target for zero carbon emissions and I welcome the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan which will allow the UK to forge ahead in eradicating the UK’s contribution to climate change.
As you know, Caroline Lucas and Lord Bird have brought forward Private Member’s Bills with the objective of putting sustainable thinking at the heart of public policy decisions.
These Bills follow the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act which was introduced in Wales in 2015. This legislation imposes obligations to act in accordance with a sustainable development principle. Future Generations Commissioner, Sophie Howe, is charged with monitoring the implementation of these obligations in Wales.
I do not believe, however, that the Bills as they stand provide the right mechanisms for achieving these important objectives. I also have reservations about creating a new public body with additional duties. I know that you may be disappointed to hear this. The Government has, however, listened carefully to the arguments made in support of these Bills and I can also assure you that it remains committed to promoting the economic, environmental and social wellbeing of the country, never more important than in the context of this current pandemic.
I wish to congratulate Lord Bird in particular whose approach to difficult issues in society is thoughtful and considered. I believe that the work of the Parliament is much improved by his contribution and I am much encouraged by his efforts.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.