Scientists condemn government over cuts to environmental watchdogs

Press release, 23 July 2010

Scientists for Global Responsibility (SGR) today condemned the government’s decision to withdraw funding for the Sustainable Development Commission and abolish the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution.

Dr Stuart Parkinson, Executive Director of SGR, said “The Sustainable Development Commission and the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution have been highly influential watchdogs on environmental issues. Their robust reports have led to major changes in thinking within government and across British society. The announcement by the Environment Secretary is, in effect, saying that the government’s environmental policies no longer need the level of scrutiny that these independent, expert bodies provided. This thoroughly undermines the government’s claimed commitment to sustainable development.”

Contact: Dr Stuart Parkinson; +44 (0) 7941 953640



1. SGR is an independent UK-based membership organisation of about 1000 natural and social scientists, engineers, IT professionals and architects. It promotes science, design and technology that contribute to peace, social justice, and environmental sustainability. For more information, see: /

2. The Department for Food, Agriculture and Rural Affairs (Defra) made their announcement on their advisory bodies in a press release on 22/07/10. See

3. The Sustainable Development Commission was set up in 2000. For more information, see:

4. The Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution was set up in 1970. For more information, see: