New targets for DEFRA

The nine public service agreement (PSA) targets for the Environment Department (DEFRA) may be replaced by just two, according to the government’s response to the House of Commons Environment Committee’s report on DEFRA’s annual report.1

The reduction in the number of PSAs is part of a cross-government initiative for the forthcoming comprehensive spending review to cut the amount of departmental targets and make them more outcome-focused.

One of DEFRA’s PSAs will be on climate change and will require the adoption of policies to meet the climate change Bill’s target to cut carbon dioxide emissions by at least 60% by 2050, as well as securing a global agreement for the post-2012 period on stabilising atmospheric greenhouse gas levels.

Five potential indicators are proposed, including total UK greenhouse gas and CO2 emissions and the greenhouse gas and CO2 intensities of the UK economy.

The second PSA will cover the natural environment. Four indicators are proposed for air quality, biodiversity, water quality and the marine environment.