Environment Strategy for Scotland: second progress report

The second 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.


The UK Withdrawal from the European Union (Continuity) (Scotland) Act 2021 (‘the Continuity Act’)2 provides a statutory framework for the Environment Strategy. Section 47 of that Act requires the Scottish Ministers to prepare and publish an environmental policy strategy. The section places requirements on the process and content of this strategy, including that a report containing an explanation of progress towards preparation of the strategy should be submitted to the Parliament annually until it is completed.

The Scottish Government intends to meet the requirements of Section 47 of the Continuity Act through the continued development of the Environment Strategy.

In 2021, the Scottish Government published an initial monitoring framework for the Environment Strategy.3 This set out the initial selection of indicators that will be used to track progress towards the strategy outcomes and plans for reporting progress. It also identified areas where further work will be undertaken to explore indicators as the monitoring framework is further developed. We have developed a website to show progress towards the strategy outcomes.

In 2022, we published the first update report to Parliament,4 as required by the Act. In that report, we set out some of the key policy areas that intersect with the strategy, and some of the main areas of progress.

There continues to be considerable progress across government in building policies that address the nature and climate crises. Our new Biodiversity strategy to 2045: tackling the nature emergency5 was published in 2022. This sets out our clear ambition for Scotland to be Nature Positive by 2030, and to have restored and regenerated biodiversity across the country by 2045.

Our Draft Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan6 published in January 2023 sets out our policies in this key area for our wellbeing, our prosperity and our impact on the planet. The draft energy strategy sets out policies to meet objectives for communities, for the economy, and for climate and nature.

The fourth National Planning Framework7 was completed and published in February 2023, incorporating a new national policy that when considering all development proposals significant weight will be given to the global climate and nature crises.

This report presents an update on the progress with the development of pathways setting out changes to policy design and delivery to achieve the Environment Strategy’s outcomes. We are developing a solid evidence base and working with partners to develop new and effective policy ideas to help Scotland to achieve our ambitious targets for nature and climate. This report also outlines the steps that will follow to consult on and adopt the strategy.


Email: environment.strategy@gov.scot

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