Environmental Standards Scotland


The system of environmental governance, provided by the institutions of the European Union, no longer apply to Scotland following the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020. In order to ensure Scotland’s high standards of environmental governance are maintained, new arrangements are being put in place.  These will be put on a statutory footing once the UK withdrawal from the European Union (Continuity) (Scotland) Bill (“the Continuity Bill”) receives royal assent. This legislation will establish a new, independent organisation – Environmental Standards Scotland (ESS).


From the 1 January 2021, ESS will work on a non-statutory basis to:

  • support and advise on the work to create statutory governance arrangements
  • provide advice on the performance of the Scottish Government and relevant public authorities in complying with environmental law, improving the effectiveness of environmental law, and, its implementation and application.