The Sustainable Development Commission (SDC) is a pointless body straying far beyond its remit and should be abolished. It looks like a quango - but no! On 1 February 2009 it became an executive non-departmental body (Executive NDPB).
Remember that the extent of any global warming is highly questionable, and if there is global warming there is no evidence that carbon dioxide is a major cause.
"Politicians have woken up to the threat the changing climate poses", says Will Day, the SDC's new chairman, "but there has been a collective failure on the part of politicians and lots of other people to articulate what a better world would look like":
The default setting seems to be on carbon, so we can measure it and value it and have graphs and make reductions. But as well as needing to live within environmental limits, it is clear that we need to be aspiring to be a healthy, fair and just society. We could end up transitioning to a low-carbon economy, but if we do that without recognising the need for a better society we will have lost the battle.
Note that the obscure Mr Day (with a background in international sustainable development) is unelected, so it is not for him to force his view on anyone.
In his world "the Department for Transport will clearly want to help deliver the health outcome by designing transport that helps improve the quality of life, and promoting walking or cycling". (Civil servants designing cars, ye gods!) "Education will want to help deliver the health outcome by teaching kids about health and diet" - which used to be something families undertook.
"Are we making decisions leading us to a healthier, more just society living within environmental limits", he wants to ask, "or are they simply saving us money in the next 12-15 months to get us over this particular hump?" Mr Day hasn't defined what he means by a "more just" society yet, but we can suspect it will involve equality rather than growth.
Quango or not, this sinister behind the scenes body, with its panels of experts influencing policy out of sight of public scrutiny, should be abolished.