HC Deb 26 June 1995 vol 262 c541W
Mr. Luff

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the latest meeting of the United Kingdom round table on sustainable development.

Mr. Gummer

The third meeting of the UK round table was held on 15 June under the co-chairmanship of myself and Professor Sir Richard Southwood. The round table focused on transport, energy and mechanisms to secure environmental improvements. It concentrated on obstacles to sustainability and how these could be removed.

The round table decided to launch five projects:

  1. i. defining a sustainable transport sector. Charles Secrett of Friends of the Earth will take the lead in preparing a definition, taking account of environmental, economic and social factors;
  2. ii. a freight study. Roderick Paul, Chairman of the CBI's Environment Committee, will chair a working party looking at minimising freight journeys and where goods are transported, how to limit the environmental impact;
  3. iii. a city-region project. A city or large town will be chosen as a demonstration project. The round table will work with local interests to devise and implement proposals to reduce traffic. Work will be steered by a group chaired by Professor Sir Richard Southwood, co-chairman of the round table;
  4. iv. competition in energy supply. A round table subgroup, chaired by Barbara Young, chief executive of RSPB, will examine how the competitive market for the supply of gas and electricity can deliver objectives of sustainable development;
  5. v. environmental auditing. A group chaired by the hon. Sara Morrison, a director of GEC, will carry out a study to identify, and assess the extent of best practice.