Beyond Stern: the environmental challenge for the comprehensive spending review
The Treasury has long been first among equals, the most powerful institution in Whitehall. Since 1997 it has become even more so, as Gordon Brown has extended the reach and influence of the Treasury to new levels across government. His uniquely powerful position with the Labour party is the primary cause of that. But it has also been made possible by new mechanisms that bind other departments to the Treasury's will. The spending review process has been the most important such mechanism.
This report suggests a framework for recognising the value of the environment and enshrining its protection in the structure of the UK economy, based on the concept of natural capital. This comprehensive spending review (CSR) is an opportunity despite the tight fiscal context, to use a new intellectual framework to deliver both environmental and economic objectives through a smart mixture of revenue-raising and spending. The report puts forward proposals for doing this in five key areas: energy, transport, waste, water and biodiversity. The list is not exhaustive, nor is it out last word on any of the issues. But the report does embody, for us, a step change in the Treasury's contribution to environmental goals that would be consistent with the urgency and scale of the challenge facing us.
- Hannah Hislop, Stephen Hale
- Publication Date:
- 3 December, 2006
- 1-905869-00-2 and 9781-905869-00-8