Energy consumption and carbon emissions in government departments – NAO review for the Environmental Audit Committee
1 Nov 2007
“I applaud the efforts of Energywatch and Postwatch to protect and speak up for consumers. It is important now that these bodies seek to evaluate their impact more fully to learn lessons for their future. I am encouraged that they have adopted a positive response to the recommendations and are taking action to improve their performance.”
“Good quality green space is a vital element of a civilized urban environment. It is welcome, therefore, that initiatives by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister are in many parts of the country contributing to a reverse of the decline in the quality of urban green space. This improving trend must be sustained and extended to those urban communities who still have to put up with poor quality green space.
“The provision of urban green space is still at risk of being treated as a Cinderella service at the local level. The case for expenditure needs to be made more effectively and resources targeted where they will have most effect in improving the environment of green spaces.”
“It may not always seem like it but some parts of England are extremely dry, with less water available per person than in places like Spain and Portugal. With daily demand of 32 billion litres a day the Environment Agency has a challenging role managing limited resources efficiently. It has done this task well but there is scope for the Agency to make further efficiency gains without adversely affecting the service it provides.”
“I welcome the progress made by the Environment Agency in creating a single organisation which regulates waste consistently and professionally. The Agency carries out a large number of inspections of waste sites however, and needs to concentrate more effectively on areas of real risk. The Agency could be more efficient and effective by better targeting its efforts on more comprehensive and in-depth inspections, even if this means doing fewer inspections in total. Rogue operators must also be left in no doubt that enforcement action against them will be swift.”
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“The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has improved the effectiveness of enforcement: for example, by requiring larger vessels to land at designated ports to make it easier to target inspections. The low chance of prosecution and the potentially high gains, however, may encourage illegal catches and landing of fish, undermining conservation policies.
“Continuing threats to fish stocks highlight the need for effective enforcement methods, as recognised by the recent reforms to the Common Fisheries Policy agreed by European Union Ministers which seek to tighten controls in all member states.”