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U.K. – OECD report on UK’s environmental performance
Good work so far - but more needs to be done. That was the verdict on the UK's environmental performance from a report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

The report is the second the OECD has published on the environmental performance of the UK. The review process started over a year ago and included an OECD information-gathering visit to the UK last November, which involved a wide range of representatives from government, business and other NGOs.

Environment Minister Michael Meacher led a UK delegation to a review meeting in Paris in June this year. This allowed other OECD member countries to quiz the UK government on progress against its domestic environment/sustainable development objectives and international obligations since the last review was completed in 1994.

Michael Meacher said - "This report is a thorough, balanced, realistic and evidence-based piece of work. It gives the UK credit for achievements - both of process and in terms of outcomes - but draws attention to what remains to be done.

"The report recognises the specific areas where we have made progress since the last review. These include:
• The setting, and meeting, of environmental objectives and targets;
• Increased investment in environmental, particularly water, infrastructure;
• A greater mix of policy instruments, with increased use of economic instruments such as the landfill tax and the climate change levy;
• Waste management and air quality strategies, the UK Biodiversity Action Plan, the Climate Change Programme;
• Reinforcement of legislation governing countryside access and rights of way;
• Improvements in access to environmental information;
• The meeting of international commitments and targets;
• The institutional and policy integration necessary to embed sustainable development firmly at the heart of government.

“The areas of criticism in the report are mostly familiar ones - such as waste, diffuse pollution, enforcement and the condition of protected areas. We acknowledge that we still have much work to do in these areas and continue to focus on how we can overcome the problems we face.

"As the OECD have highlighted in this report, we have made good progress across many areas since the first review in 1994. Now, we must continue the hard work, focussing on those areas where we fall short, and striving for further improvement and success in all we do, so that this will be reflected in the next review."
Author:Neil Flynn
Posted Date:11/26/2002

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