NATIONAL PLANNING FRAMEWORK FOR SCOTLAND
KEY ISSUES AND DRIVERS OF CHANGE
53. To ensure that Scotland is equipped to respond effectively to the economic and social challenges of the next 25 years, it is necessary to consider what these challenges are likely to be and what can be done about them. This section identifies some of the key drivers of change and the issues which need to be addressed, while recognising the uncertainties inherent in any predictions about the future and the importance of retaining the flexibility to deal with the unexpected.
54. The Executive is committed to integrating the principles of sustainable development into all of its policies. Meeting the Needs... Priorities, Actions and Targets for Sustainable Development in Scotland gives priority to their application to resource use, energy and travel. Action is required to address the threat posed by climate change and on the sourcing and use of materials and waste recycling. There is a need to use resources more efficiently, reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions, and develop renewable sources of energy. We need to move towards more environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive modes and patterns of transport. Other important aspects of sustainable development are the efficient use of infrastructure and the recycling of previously developed land. The Executive has published Indicators of Sustainable Development for Scotland as a basis for assessing progress towards sustainable development.
55. While international efforts to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions will help to limit the extent of climate change, some change is now inevitable and Scotland will need to adapt. Scotland in 2025 is likely to be warmer with wetter winters. Rising sea levels and more intense rainfall will increase the risk of flooding. This brings new challenges in the way that we plan to protect our natural and built environments from climate extremes and it is essential that the implications of climate change are factored into the decision-making process.
56. The sustainable management of the built environment will have continuing importance. Scottish Executive policy stresses the value of retaining and re-using existing structures and materials, recognising the investment of resources that these represent.