In January 2018, government published its 25 Year Environment Plan (the Plan), setting out its ambition to improve the natural environment in England within a generation, both for the direct benefits this would bring, as well as to support its influence overseas and position the UK as a global environmental leader. The Plan included ten … Read more
Protecting the natural environment for future generations requires co-ordinated action across government and a thorough understanding of the long term implications of decisions. Meeting climate change targets, for example, will require radical changes in energy, transport and housing by 2050. Improving air quality involves the environment and transport departments as well as local government.
To achieve real change government needs to ensure there is clear ownership for sustainability in government. This is particularly important in times of austerity, to avoid issues being side-lined under competing pressures. Environmental considerations should be an integral part of departments' planning and decision making processes, with rigorous arrangements for monitoring policy delivery and for holding people to account for performance. Government needs to understand the link between environmental sustainability and economic growth.
Key NAO publications:
In June 2019, the government passed legislation committing it to achieving ‘net zero’ greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. This means that the UK’s total greenhouse gas emissions should be equal to or less than the emissions the UK removes from the environment either by the natural environment or carbon capture technologies. Achieving net zero will … Read more
This report examines how far the Ministry of Defence has embedded environmental sustainability in estate management, procurement, governance and policy-making.
13 May 2020
This report sets out the challenges facing the water industry in England and assesses how Defra is tackling them.
25 Mar 2020
The NAO is publishing a suite of Departmental Overviews, one for each government department and a selection of cross-government issues, to assist House of Commons Select Committees and Members of Parliament.
9 Mar 2020
This report examines how effectively Ofgem has used electricity network price controls to protect consumers and achieve government’s environmental goals.
30 Jan 2020
This report sets out the facts about the government’s support of shale gas development in England.
23 Oct 2019
This report examines Defra’s approach to developing the Future Farming and Countryside Programme.
5 Jun 2019
Our study evaluates how far the government has an effective system for measuring progress towards its environmental objectives.
16 Jan 2019
This report identifies lessons from the management and performance of the packaging recycling obligation system.
23 Jul 2018