Responding to the Programme for Government, Dr Deborah Long – Chief Officer at Scottish Environment LINK – said:
“We welcome the First Minister’s commitment to display leadership on the climate and nature crises, and will work productively with all parties as we face these enormous challenges.
“The Natural Environment Bill and Agriculture Bill are two key pieces of legislation that will be central to delivering progress for nature and climate in this parliament.
“It is disappointing that the timescale for the Natural Environment Bill’s introduction appears to have slipped since the Bute House Agreement. It is essential that the Scottish Government takes forward these pieces of legislation with the level of ambition that the environmental crises require.
“We do welcome the commitment to tackle the environmental impact of single use vapes, as well as to consider new legislation to improve resilience in the water industry. This is an excellent opportunity to tackle issues surrounding spillages from the sewerage network and water scarcity – key issues for our water environments and the life that they support.
“Improving connectivity in the natural world is key to tackling the nature crisis. The commitment to new financial support for Nature Networks is an important step, and we look forward to seeing details.
“This summer, with extreme weather across the planet, has shown just how serious the environmental crises we face are. We have the answers but need our political leaders to show a ruthless focus on delivery.”