The Treasury has thwarted an attempt by senior economists across Whitehall to set up a review of resource depletion, climate change and growth to address the concerns of both industry and environmentalists.
Many manufacturing groups are worried about the potential impact on supply chains because of the rapid industrialisation of large parts of the globe.
The issue was discussed at length last summer at a meeting of the National Security Council, the key group of officials and ministers responsible for national security, the Financial Times has learnt.
The proposal for a Whitehall review was drawn up last year and had backing from the departments of business (BIS), energy (Decc), the environment (Defra) and others.
But in several emails the proposal was effectively killed off by Dave Ramsden, chief economist at the Treasury, say letters seen by the FT under freedom of information requests.
That is likely to be seen as the latest evidence of the Treasury, under Chancellor George Osborne, eroding the “green” agenda once promised by the Conservative party.