We have a clearer picture than ever before of the crises in our climate and our natural world. Global assessments have highlighted the scale and urgency of action needed to avoid the worst impacts of climate change and to halt the loss of the Earth's biodiversity. Last year's State of Nature Scotland Report highlighted the pressures on nature in our own country.
I am determined that we in Scotland will play our full part in responding to these crises. We will help to safeguard the wonders of nature for their own sake. We will honour our responsibilities to other nations. And we will help to ensure that we pass on a planet fit to live in to future generations.
2020 is a year of great opportunity. In October, the post - 2020 global biodiversity framework will be agreed at COP 15 in Kunming, China. The following month, Glasgow will host COP 26, a major UN climate conference where countries will pledge their national commitments to deliver the Paris Climate Agreement.
While there is further to go, I am proud of the progress we are making in Scotland. We have the toughest, most ambitious legislative framework on climate change in the world and have almost halved our greenhouse gas emissions since 1990. We are recognised as leaders in developing a circular economy and have some of the most ambitious targets on waste in Europe. The quality of our air and water is improving and we are making progress on many of our targets for biodiversity. We have in place well-regarded strategies and plans for achieving our environmental goals and tackling climate change.
Scotland's Environment Strategy provides an overarching framework to bring these strategies and plans together and identify new strategic priorities and opportunities. It will help to guide us as we protect and restore Scotland's natural environment and strive to live within our planet's sustainable limits. In doing this, we will support the wellbeing of people in Scotland and strengthen our economy.
This document sets out a vision for Scotland's environment and our role in tackling the global crises. It identifies the outcomes on which we need to focus to achieve our vision.
We cannot do this alone. Scotland will continue to work collaboratively with other nations and through international forums. We will continue to meet or exceed existing environmental standards, backed by our strategic approach to environmental policy - including this strategy and arrangements for environmental governance, principles and monitoring.
We also rely on the huge contribution of people and organisations across Scotland who share our goals, and who have contributed to the development of this vision for Scotland's environment. I look forward to further working in partnership as we seek to turn our shared vision into reality.
Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform
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