UK Future Generations Bill
Wednesday 12th February saw the official parliamentary launch of the UK’s Future Generations Bill. The Bill is seeking to embed long-term planning and the interests of future generations at the heart of UK policy-making, aiming to confront the climate emergency as well as youth disengagement and increasing social inequalities.
Prof Daniella Tilbury, Commissioner for Sustainable Development and Future Generations, was invited by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Future Generations (APPG-FG) to speak at a closed committee meeting of MPs and Peers. Parliamentarians were briefed of the work undertaken in Gibraltar, as well as Wales, in the area of sustainable development. Sophie Howe, the Welsh Commissioner spoke of Wales’ track record over recent years. Mutual ambitions to end short-term planning and embed future generation’s interest in law were discussed. The committee was chaired by Bambos Charalambous MP and counted with the highest level of attendance since its establishment. Members of the House were having to stand to listen to contributions given size of the audience.The aim of the meeting was to respond to queries from parliamentarians and to agree a future plan of parliamentary action including a debate in the House of Commons.
‘Those at the meeting recognised that there is a need to work preventatively, and with foresight so that we can address challenges that face our communities today. Joint-up policy-making is the key to defeating shorterm-ism’ explained Prof Tilbury. ‘Delivering on this intergenerational commitment also requires connected efforts across public bodies and innovative private sector partnerships.’
The meeting with parliamentarians was followed by a civil society reception organized by Lord Bird which brought together key stakeholders from business and civil society across the UK. The event was supported by the “Today4Tomorrow” campaign that seeks to raise awareness of the Bill’s ambition.
Professor Tilbury added, ‘It was pleasing to know UK parliamentarians are looking to Gibraltar as an example to follow.’
Lord Bird, the founder of the ‘Big Issue’, introduced the UK Wellbeing of Future Generations Bill as a private member’s bill on 21 October 2019 and is campaigning for its enactment. He re-introduced the Bill on 8 January 2020, following the general election. The Bill which had its first reading on 8 January, and is due to have its second reading on 13 March, is being supported by MPs and Peers across the House.