Environment strategy for Scotland: progress report
The first annual report to Parliament on progress in developing the Environment Strategy for Scotland, as required under the UK Withdrawal from the European Union (Continuity) (Scotland) Act 2021.
I am happy to present to Parliament this first progress report on the development of our environment strategy.
The world recognised at COP26 in Glasgow that now is the time to set a new path for our economies and societies, so that we can flourish within the limits of what our planet can sustain.
The Scottish Government is determined that Scotland plays our full part in responding to the global climate and nature crises. We are demonstrating this commitment through our action, by delivering our updated Climate Change Plan and supporting a just transition to net zero. Through our international leadership on the Edinburgh Declaration, we are calling for an ambitious global biodiversity framework to be agreed at COP15, and we will implement its goals through a new biodiversity strategy. The First Minister's endorsement of the Leaders' Pledge for Nature commits us to help create a nature-positive world by 2030. We are reflecting this goal in our new economic strategy and our planning framework.
We have set out a strong statement of our ambition through the environment strategy vision and outcomes. The development of an over-arching environment strategy presents an opportunity to coordinate and enhance the wide range of actions across government that will deliver transformative change. It creates a framework for our strategies on nature, climate and resource-use and helps to drive a whole-of-government approach to tackling the climate and nature crises. It also recognises the many ways in which our economy and the health of our communities are dependent on our natural environment to prosper and thrive.
Our ambitions for our environment are underpinned by the provisions in the Continuity Act on environmental principles, the role of Environmental Standards Scotland in supporting environmental governance, and through our new environment strategy. We have committed to introduce legislation for a human right to a healthy environment.
We are now developing the environment strategy to identify the pathways for achieving the vision, building on the commitment to high environmental standards that runs through the Bute House Agreement. This report non-exhaustively sets out many areas of Scottish Government policy and action that are already contributing towards these goals, as well as what we have committed to achieve and some of the challenges and opportunities in realising our vision.
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