Department for Energy and Climate Change to appoint third sector champion

Announcement coincides with first report from climate change taskforce

The Department for Energy and Climate Change will appoint a third sector champion to represent the interests of the sector in the formulation of the department's policies. 

The announcement comes as the first report from a joint ministerial and third sector taskforce, set up to mobilise action on climate change, is published this week. The group included representatives from four government departments, including the DECC, and 16 third sector organisations.

The report, published by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, sets out how the Government and the sector will work together over the next five years to tackle key environmental issues and encourage sustainable development. It calls on third sector organisations to provide leadership on climate change, create sustainable new jobs and industries, and encourage and support people to act to combat global warming.

Regulators including the Charity Commission are singled out for having a "significant ability" to lead change by integrating environmental considerations into the mainstream best practice of the voluntary sector. And the business model of social enterprises means they have a pivotal role in creating green jobs and developing skills and enterprise, the report says.

The commission has recently added advice to its two publications, Hallmarks of an Effective Charity and The Essential Trustee, which says that board members should consider the impact of their charities' activities on the environment.

Angela Smith, Minister for the Third Sector, said: "The third sector's unique position means it can tackle environmental challenges through their own organisations and by harnessing the support of local communities and networks, which is where real change can be achieved."

A number of organisations, including the NCVO, the SCVO and the Green Alliance, will co-host a round-table summit on climate change and the third sector this summer.

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