Thank you for contacting me about Well-being of Future Generations Bill.
In this new session of Parliament, I understand that Lord Bird has again brought forward this Private Members Bill in the House of Lords with the objective of putting sustainable thinking at the heart of public policy decisions.
I think it is absolutely right that there should be sustainable thinking in Government, and I would like to assure you that the well-being 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. Further, I am pleased that the recent G7 summit saw a shared commitment from global leaders, led by the UK, to building back better for a more equal, environmentally friendly world for future generations.
This Bill follows 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 Bill as it stands provides the right mechanism 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 the Bill and I can also assure you that it remains committed to promoting the economic, environmental and social well-being of the country.
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.