New plans to assess UK progress towards sustainable future

Published on Tuesday, 24 July 2012 10:52
Posted by Scott Buckler

The UK's progress towards sustainable long-term economic growth and social wellbeing will be easier for people to track under new plans announced by Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman

Defra has launched a consultation on a new set of Sustainable Development Indicators (SDIs) providing an overview of the UK's progress towards a more sustainable economy, society, and environment.

The indicators will make it easier for people to monitor if the UK is developing in a sustainable way and help Government see where more work needs to be done. Updates will be published annually with a scorecard showing whether progress is in the right direction.

Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman said:

"We want to help our economy, our communities and the environment to grow and flourish in a sustainable way for the benefit of future generations. We have put sustainability at the heart of everything that the Government does, and these new indicators will help us take stock of our progress and give the public the means to chart our success.

"At Rio+20 we successfully argued for the need for countries to look beyond their economic performance as a measure of progress. These indicators along with the measures of wellbeing underline our own commitment to going beyond GDP to measure the health and wealth of the UK."

Assessments on our use of natural resources, and the skills and knowledge we possess, are amongst the new measurements proposed. Twelve headline measures are supported by 25 supplementary indicators.

The revised Sustainable Development Indicators will be used alongside the national wellbeing measures developed by the Office for National Statistics, and work on valuations of our natural resources, to provide a wide set of measures to view how society is progressing. Taken together, these measures demonstrate the UK's leading role in championing the need to move beyond GDP as the sole measure of progress, which received international recognition at Rio+20.

Previous SDIs have been widely used outside of Government by academics, NGOs and businesses. This consultation will give these groups the opportunity to give us their views and feedback on the new proposed SDIs.

Source: ©DEFRA

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