LINK Thinks

LINK Thinks is a space for members and others to express their views about Scotland’s environment. If you would like to contribute a blog please contact The opinions expressed in this blog are the author's and not necessarily those of the wider LINK membership.

A Sustainable and Low Carbon Scottish Economy: views from LINK Economics Group conference

06 Dec 2016

The above title was the subject of a recent conference organised by LINK’s Economics Group. The focus was on the What and the How and speakers and participants provided plenty of food for thought. In case any of us were in any doubt about the urgency of climate change, Graeme Maxton (Secretary General of the […]

From vision to action: planning for Scotland’s future

11 Aug 2016

These are worrying times for those of us concerned about the health of Scotland’s natural environment but perhaps, during uncertain times, making a longer term plan could help us find solutions.  Environmental challenges like climate change and biodiversity loss often seem too difficult or painful to deal with in the short term, particularly when other […]

Air Passenger Duty – Why we can’t afford to cut it

03 Jun 2016

by Mike Robinson A debate is raging about the merits or otherwise of cutting Air Passenger Duty (APD) in Scotland – a tax levied on each flight dependent on how far the destination. The Scottish Government has made clear their intention that, further to this tax power being devolved, they will see this tax halved beginning […]

The Government should learn happiness is not all about money – and policy-making should work towards that end

12 Apr 2016

“Money alone has never made man happy”, to paraphrase Benjamin Franklin. It is something that rings true with most of us but it is rarely recognised by our governments who continue to use primarily economic metrics such as GDP for measuring a country’s success. Yet in 2007, Scotland put itself ahead of most of its […]

Environmental courts: a better way to resolve disputes

09 Feb 2016

We Scots are rightly proud of our outstanding natural environment. It is also widely recognised as an essential part of our economy, as it frames our “brand”. At the same time, economic development proposals – or, indeed, conservation measures – can be controversial. Governments, businesses, and communities of both place and interest often take differing […]

Have You Got the Bottle?

06 Jan 2016

Almost six years ago, the Scottish Parliament unanimously passed the Climate Change Act. The Act included an important provision for a national deposit return system, where consumers pay a small deposit on drinks bottles and cans which is fully refunded when they are returned. This hasn’t been introduced yet, but the good news is that […]

Food for thought

22 Oct 2015

While our Indian summer helped Scottish farmers bring the harvest in, challenging times still lie ahead for farming. Lower subsidies for some, along with low commodity prices and a weak Euro, all put pressure on farm incomes. Scottish Environment LINK brings together more than 35 environmental organisations to protect and enhance nature and wildlife on […]

One step towards getting land use on the right track

12 Oct 2015

Land reform is back on the agenda in Scotland with a new Bill now passing through Parliament. While most of the media coverage of this issue has centred around the inequitable pattern of land ownership in Scotland, it’s the use of our land, its management and stewardship, which is of more concern for environmental organisations. […]

In Practice: Planning for Scotland’s Seas

21 Jul 2015

For decades now, Scotland has managed activities within its seas, such as renewables, oil and gas development and aquaculture, through separate, sector-specific planning guidance – but now things are changing. Serious declines in the health of our marine environment as a result of human activities at sea and around our coasts became an urgent driver […]

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