It’s Time to Get Serious—Why Legislation Is Needed to Make Sustainable Development a Reality in the UK
AbstractOn paper, the United Kingdom (UK) has the architecture in place to actually start delivering sustainable development. The current UK-wide framework for sustainable development and the individual strategies made under it are all relatively modern and progressive in considering environmental limits and long-term effects. This framework, however, lacks a legislative foundation in the UK. Moreover, these strategies are not delivering in the three areas considered vital for the proper implementation of sustainable development—improving understanding, providing a comprehensive framework to integrate potentially conflicting priorities and providing an operational toolkit. This article argues that over and above its symbolic and educational value, specific legislation setting out the state’s approach to sustainable development should impose mandatory obligations on policy and decision makers, with meaningful consequences both inside and outside the courtroom. Using examples from Wales, Canada and Scotland, it explores three legislative models to support the implementation of sustainable development that would be suitable in the UK and its devolved administrations, and the legislative provisions necessary for their delivery. This article emphasises the benefits of procedural obligations, both by themselves and in support of more substantive obligations, along with the possibility that certain appropriately worded substantive duties be treated as legal rules that govern decision-making. It explores the benefits and drawbacks of including a definition of ‘sustainable development’ and of referring to specific underlying principles such as the precautionary principle, concluding that these elements may not be necessary or suitable in the UK. The article also contends that sustainable development ought to be the central organising principle of government in the UK, and that even if a weaker and less ambitious formulation is adopted, legislative backing for the production, use and review of sustainability strategies would still improve understanding, provide a framework for decision-making and clarify the use and importance of other implementation devices.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by MDPI, Open Access Journal in its journal Sustainability.
Volume (Year): 2 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 (April)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.mdpi.com/
sustainable development; strategy; framework; legislation; statute;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
- Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
- Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
- Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
- Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
- Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
- O13 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
You can help add them by filling out this form.
reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (XML Conversion Team).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.