Prime Minister appoints Porritt as main adviser on sustainable development

Tony Blair has announced that celebrated environmentalist, Jonathon Porritt, will head the new governmental advisory body, the Sustainable Development Commission, covering all sectors of the economy.

The commission’s main roles will include: reviewing how far sustainable development is being achieved nation-wide in all areas of the economy, identifying any policy which may prevent sustainable development being achieved, identifying important current unsustainable trends and recommending action to reverse them. It is expected to hold its first meeting in October.

Announcing Porritt’s appointment on July, the Prime Minister said: “As we reap the benefits of continuing economic growth, we must combine them with the creation of a fairer society and a cleaner environment. By continuing to make progress domestically, we will also help ensure that the UK can remain at the forefront of the world push for sustainable development. Jonathon and the Commission will have a crucial part to play in bringing this about.”

“Jonathon has been one of the most prominent voices promoting green and quality of life issues over the last 25 years. He is deeply committed to sustainable development and has been particularly influential in working with the business community to take the agenda forward – experience which will stand him in good stead as Chair of the Commission, ” Blair said.

Porritt, probably best known as being Director of Friends of the Earth between 1984 and 1990, replied that he was “both honoured and delighted,” to have been appointed, but that it would be “a massive challenge….to resolve difficult issues and propose solutions.”

The Commission will comprise of 15 members, appointed in consultation with Porritt, and representing different interests and backgrounds. It will replace the existing advisory bodies, the UK Round Table and British Government Panel on Sustainable Development whose combined budgets it will succeed, with expected funding of £500,000 from the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions.

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