Scottish Environment LINK welcomes indication that the draft SNP-Green Cooperation Agreement, announced today (20 August), includes proposals to progress a number of key environmental policies. This could signal a step forward in delivering on Scotland’s ambition to tackle the nature and climate crises hand in hand.
In particular, positive progress has been made to introduce legally binding nature recovery targets to halt the decline in Scotland’s biodiversity by 2030 and restore Scotland’s nature, a central ask of LINK’s Fight for Scotland’s Nature campaign.
The draft Agreement also includes commitments to embed nature networks in national planning policy to enable key habitats and wildlife to flourish, support for regenerative agriculture and greater protections for Scotland’s marine habitats. Measures to reduce packaging waste in a Circular Economy Bill will also be important to delivering positive outcomes for Scotland’s nature and climate. The Agreement includes a guarantee of multi-year funding through the newly established Nature Restoration Fund.
Deborah Long, Chief Officer of Scottish Environment LINK said:
“The actions we take in the next five years will be vital for restoring Scotland’s nature and delivering a green recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. The draft agreement published today includes several environmental policy commitments that should deliver progress and we look forward to working with government to roll out delivery in the event the cooperation agreement is confirmed.
“We welcome the inclusion of targets to restore Scotland’s nature in the draft Agreement though, with 1 in 9 species in Scotland at risk of national extinction, it is concerning this legislation will be in the latter half of the parliamentary session. Scotland must also take a holistic approach to tackling nature’s decline, which is why it is positive to see commitments on delivering nature networks, sustainable agriculture and highly protected marine areas.
“Of course, these issues are important to parties across the Scottish Parliament, and we look forward to working with government and all opposition parties to take forward action to ensure Scotland’s nature flourishes.”