Headlines: November 13th, 1998

A new report has pulled together the guidance available to policy makers on when and how to carry out environmental assessments of policies and programmes. It has also highlighted two main gaps in the information available.The independent report, ‘Review of Technical Guidance on Environmental Appraisal’ concludes that whilst considerable guidance is available internationally, there are gaps in technical information. It also points to guidance being related to projects, rather than policies.

Environment Minister Michael Meacher told the Commons: “This report makes a highly constructive contribution to the pursuit of better environmental appraisal in decision making. The Government accepts the conclusions about the areas where further work would be useful – Green Ministers are discussing the best way to address these, notably in the area of policy appraisal.”

Copies of the report, commissioned by the DETR from consultants EFTEC under the leadership of Prof David Pearce, have been placed in the House of Commons Library.