Magazine article Public Finance

Expert Urges Action on Climate Change

Magazine article Public Finance

Expert Urges Action on Climate Change

Article excerpt

Recent changes at the top of government present a golden opportunity for climate change to be pushed up the political agenda, a leading environmentalist said this week.

Giving evidence to the Commons Environmental Audit Committee, Professor Tom Burke, a former special adviser to the environment secretary, criticised current government structures as confused and opaque.

'We're getting a bit lost as to where accountability lies. It's important to retain mission focus,' Burke told MPs on July 3.

He said the new prime minister should take a strong lead. He also called for a director general for climate change, working out of the Cabinet Office, who would be the prime minister's principal adviser on the issue.

Burke was critical of the Treasury's approach, which he said was too theoretical in the way it subjected climate change policy to cost-benefit analyses.

'Climate change is not just another welfare problem,' he said. 'If we have policy failure on climate change we won't have other public goods - that's the reality... Climate change is a threat to the prosperity and wellbeing of 60 million Britons. …

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