Yesterday’s publication of the Welsh Government’s proposals for a Sustainable Development Bill includes a number of very interesting proposals for how we can ensure Wales develops sustainably in the decades to come. However, there remain a number of unanswered questions which will have to be addressed if this Bill is ever going to be the success the Welsh economy needs it to be.
The creation of a new independent sustainable development body, separate to Welsh Government, implies the belief that its post-devolution attempts to embed SD as a central organising principle of government has had limited success. In the coming months the Welsh Government needs to demonstrate how intends to fully embed SD principles at the same time as planning to separate them out into a new independent body.
In creating another new body the Welsh Government must ensure that its monitoring does not become a simple box ticking exercise. It must demonstrate that this decision is more efficient in our difficult economic climate. Finally, the Welsh Government must also establish that a new body does more than simply rearranging how SD is delivered in Wales and that it has the potential to significantly improve our progress towards a sustainable future.