Government must use economic instruments to encourage sustainability

The Government must set clearer goals if the economy is to become more sustainable, according to a report from the UK Round Table on Sustainable Development.


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The Round Table, which acts as an advisory body to the UK Government, called for

increased use of economic instruments to promote sustainable development.

The Round Table report recommendations include:

  • integrating the Government’s Sustainable Development Strategy more closely with the Budget and spending processes
  • work to overcome objections to economic instruments, including better public information and earlier identification and mitigation of potential drawbacks
  • assessment of economic instruments to determine their effectiveness in delivering sustainable development objectives
  • establishing an independent advisory body on economic instruments, reporting to the Treasury

Introducing the report, Not Too Difficult, Chairman of the Round

Table Derek Osborn said: “The Government must be bolder with its powers to move the economy in more sustainable directions. Damaging environmental trends cannot be reversed by timid measures at the margin. We need to set clear goals for transforming our society over the next 10 to 20 years and seek support from the whole of our society for the necessary changes. Taxes and charges can play a crucial role in changing relative prices and giving clear signals.”

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