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Letter: Government must be greener

Sir: David Walker ("Whitehall's machinery needs an overhaul", 28 May) is right to highlight the inadequacies imposed by the structure of Government when it comes to addressing new challenges. This is nowhere more apparent than in the field of environmental protection where efforts to "green" the policy-making machinery have been frustrated by the failure of most Government departments to take environmental issues on board.

A recent Council for the Protection of Rural England survey of ministers' answers to Parliamentary Questions indicated that no government department was able to provide evidence of having looked at the environmental impact of their policies in a systematic way. This is despite an Environment White Paper commitment to do so.

Until the Government puts in place strong and enforceable mechanisms to ensure that the environment is placed at the heart of future decision making, its commitments will remain empty words, at odds with the reality of how the machinery of Government is working.


Environmental Assessment


Council for the Protection

of Rural England

London SW1