Tories propose ‘deals’ for responsible business

Voluntary agreements between government and business should be used to tackle environmental problems instead of regulation, the Conservative party has proposed.

In a report in March, the Tories say that governments are too quick to regulate, burdening UK businesses. They envisage "responsibility deals" - agreements between government, business and campaign groups to tackle issues such as waste.1

Former shadow Environment Secretary and chief executive and chairman of Asda, Archie Norman, is to develop a responsibility deal to extend producer responsibility to all types of waste (ENDS Report 392, pp 30-33 ).

The Tories claim the plans are a "fundamental shift" in the model of government. In fact, there are many examples of voluntary agreements, such as the EU’s deal with carmakers to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from new cars. But these are often unsuccessful - as recent proposals for mandatory CO2 limits have shown (ENDS Report 393, pp 30-33 ).

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