Wellbeing Budgets and the Environment


  • Simon Upton




Wellbeing budgets, Environmental information, Environmental spending


Wellbeing budgets have created a need to link the environment to wellbeing. This may seem like a self-evident task, but in practice it is extremely difficult. There is often not enough information to link how a given environmental policy or initiative will impact on the environment, let alone how it will impact on wellbeing. These difficulties are compounded by the fact that many environmental issues are complex, long-term, or characterised by tipping points. So far, decision makers have not had adequate advice to make informed trade-offs between investing in wellbeing now and investing in wellbeing for the future. In order to address these limitations, the government and its advisors should consider whether it is worth treating environmental spending in a different way.


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Author Biography

Simon Upton

Simon Upton is the parliamentary commissioner for the environment. He is a former minister for the environment as well as a former environment director at the OECD. His report Wellbeing Budgets and the Environment: a promised land? was published in December 2021.