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Sustainable Development Commission

Volume 487: debated on Thursday 29 January 2009

The Sustainable Development Commission (SDC) is the Government’s independent adviser and “watchdog” on sustainable development, reporting to the Prime Minister, the First Ministers for Scotland and Wales and the First Minister and Deputy First Minister for Northern Ireland.

The SDC was established as an advisory NDPB in October 2000. In the 2005 UK sustainable development strategy, “Securing the Future”, the Government committed to reviewing the status of the SDC to assess whether it might be better equipped to fulfil its expanded “watchdog” role as an executive rather than advisory body. The outcome of this review was that it would. Therefore from 1 February 2009 the SDC will be established as an executive NDPB, as a company limited by guarantee, with Jonathon Porritt as chairman (until the end of his term of office in July 2009) and Andrew Lee, previously director of the SDC, as chief executive. This change has been made with the agreement of Ministers in the devolved Administrations.

The SDC will maintain its current staff, objectives and Commissioners but will now be better able to fulfil its role. It will continue to receive core funding from DEFRA and the devolved Administrations.