Environmentalists have attacked the Government over sustainability policies and "badly written and badly regulated" legislation.
David Middleton, chief executive of the Birmingham-based Business Council for Sustainable Development (BCSD) UK said too much time had been spent discussing climate change and not enough had been done to tackle the effects. Speaking yesterday at a Sustainable Development Business Summit at the NEC Mr Middleton said: "I have never seen so many strategic groups.
"It seems to me that the response to any good ideas is, let us talk about it but not do anything and we have tonnes of legislation which is equally daft. We have legislation that is badly written and badly regulated.
"I have never seen so much news about sustainable development but it all seems to be the bad news."
Addressing an audience of representatives from a range of businesses in the Midlands, Mr Middleton referred to the Stern Report. It was published on October 30 and aimed to be the most comprehensive review ever carried out on the economics of climate change.
It was carried out by Sir Nicholas Stern, the head of Government's economic service and the former World Bank chief economist.
Mr Middleton said: "The Stern Report says we cannot afford to wait to respond. We need to start now.
"Some people think the problem is too big to be tackled. The majority still only see this issue as a problem and not an opportunity.
"We need more action and we need it now. We need to deliver more solutions now. We need more incentives to progress and we need funds to secure it."
Dr Stewart Davies, business commissioner for the Sustainable Development Commission, said: "There are clear opportunities for more effective policy interventions by Government if it better understands the need of business to have market certainty in which to invest for change.
"The challenge of sustainable development is to deliver a better quality of life within the constraints of the planet's resources and ecosystem.
"The Stern Report is the latest in an honourable line of treatises arguing that governments and businesses must deal with the unsustainable impacts of consumption and production."
Ian Pearson, Minister of State for Climate Change and Environment, said: "I don't agree with everything that David and Stewart have said but what I do agree with is that Government needs to do more, businesses need to do more and individuals need to do more, but we need to work together.
"The challenge we face as society cannot just be met by Government alone. The challenges and changes needed are massive and require all of us to play a part."
The Midland-born MP added: "I am very pleased that we are having this meeting here in the West Midlands as we are at the forefront of looking at the issue of business and sustainability."