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Moira Wallace, the permanent secretary of the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) resigned last month, days before a critical report by the Commons’ Energy and Climate Change Committee (ECC) was published. The report, which examined her department’s flagship Energy Bill, said that continued rows between DECC and the Treasury have made the policy “unworkable.”
The fitting of small-scale renewable energy generation equipment on the government estate could help cut costs and reduce CO2 emissions. But Nick Schoon finds that nobody is leading on this potentially important agenda
Squeezed between declining rainfall and a growing population, water supply is a growing environmental challenge. Stuart Watson examines how departments can increase their water-efficiency before supplies dry up
Three ground-breaking ‘carbon compacts’ have been signed, bringing together the spending power of departments and private businesses in a bid to push suppliers into cutting carbon emissions.
Suppliers are interested in low-carbon goods and services, but doubts over demand limit investment. Becky Slack examines carbon compacts, which demonstrate that customers really are hungry for eco-friendly supplies
It's the UK’s only way out of the ‘energy trilemma’, says David Handley.
The Canal & River Trust, the new name for British Waterways, has received charitable status from the Charity Commission.
After nearly 22 months, the Commons select committees’ first elected chairs have had plenty of time to size up their Whitehall counterparts. Joshua Chambers asked them how the departments they watch have been performing
Departmental select committee chairs have provided mixed reviews of the departments they scrutinise for a Civil Service World Special Report, which has found that 40 per cent of them are dissatisfied with departments’ responses to their reports.
British Waterways chief Robin Evans has spent years campaigning for the public corporation to become a charitable trust. He tells Matt Ross why our canals are set to thrive outside the illusory security of government ownership
For today’s civil servants, says Defra permanent secretary Bronwyn Hill, success rests on the ability to work across organisational boundaries. Suzannah Brecknell hears her explain her philosophy – with plenty of examples.
In her role as chair of the environmental audit committee, Joan Walley MP is responsible for scrutinising cross-departmental work on sustainability. Edward Davie hears her take aim at the coalition's green performance.
Broadening the focus of environmental monitoring, the PM is ‘mainstreaming’ sustainability into all management and policymaking. Suzannah Brecknell gets an explanation from Defra director-general Mike Anderson.
At Defra, Helen Ghosh ditched Whitehall’s traditional departmental structure in favour of a fluid, project-based system. Now, she tells Matt Ross, we’re facing an even greater revolution in relations between the centre and the front line
April saw the launch of a scheme which will result in departments paying tariffs for all their carbon emissions. The Environment Agency’s Tony Grayling tells Ruth Keeling about a radical move to improve sustainability
The Food and Environment Research Agency was launched with dreams of commercial development – into the teeth of the financial crisis. Chief executive Andrew Belton tells Ruth Keeling that he remains optimistic
The latest figures show that government bodies are making patchy progress towards their 2010-11 targets for sustainable operations. Ruth Keeling examines both what’s helping them improve, and what’s holding them back.
Having left the Sustainable Development Commission, veteran environment activist Jonathon Porritt can now speak freely on sustainability policy. Matthew O’Toole hears complaints that Whitehall has resisted change