'Government set to miss green targets'

A new report has claimed the government is set to miss over half of the green targets it has set since 1997.

The Policy Exchange thinktank said today that out of 138 high-level targets surveyed, 60 per cent have been "missed, are unlikely to be achieved, or are worded so vaguely as to make meaningful analysis impossible".

The report added that two-thirds of key climate change targets appear unlikely to be met, while 88 per cent of biodiversity targets have already been missed.

The head of Policy Exchange's environment unit, Tara Singh, examined 132 white papers, speeches and publications since 1997.

Today's report criticised the UK culture of continually setting targets, claiming they were set "without the policy drivers, notably finance and interim benchmarking, required to meet them".

"Many targets are so vague or so long-term as to be all but meaningless while others are the responsibility of so many departments and agencies that no-one feels responsible for policy delivery," the Policy Exchange said.

The thinktank also accused the government of 'spinning' targets and claimed that targets were often set in the absence of a commitment to turn the plans into action.

The Conservative shadow secretary of state for the environment, food and rural affairs, Peter Ainsworth, attacked the government, claiming that it failed to live up to its own spin.

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