In response to the publication of the Report by the Roundtable on Environment and Climate Change on Environmental Governance in Scotland on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, Scottish Environment LINK Chair, Charles Dundas of Woodland Trust Scotland stated:
“We welcome the publication of the report and its recommendations to address the environmental governance gap created as a result of the UK’s departure from the EU. We need robust mechanisms to ensure that we continue to monitor, implement and enforce environmental protections. To achieve this a suite of measures are needed, including a means for citizens, communities and NGOs to raise concerns and complaints. This may be best achieved by the creation of a “watchdog” body, that is empowered to refer cases of non-compliance to the courts, possibly in first instance of an environmental court.
We look forward to engaging on this issue with the Scottish Government and Scottish Parliament and hope that a UK-wide discussion can take place with the administrations of the four countries of the UK recognising these are joint challenges that need to be addressed in a way consistent with devolution.”
For more information please contact Daphne Vlastari, Scottish Environment LINK Advocacy Manager: firstname.lastname@example.org, 0757 211 33 79.
(1) The Report by the Roundtable on Environment and Climate Change on Environmental Governance in Scotland on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU can be viewed here: www.gov.scot/Publications/2018/06/2221
The expert group involved in making the assessments included in this report has focused on maintaining Scotland’s global position as a leader in environmental governance and performance. Whilst much may depend on UK:EU negotiations and arrangements provided and agreed with the UK in due course, and much remains uncertain at this point, consideration is given directly to Scotland’s policy and governance needs and to the main issues arising. Key areas where there is a risk of disadvantage without intervention concern access to expertise in professional policy and practice networks,access to skills and the value of oversight mechanisms provided by the Commission and the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) around verifying compliance with and enforcement of environmental law. Options for retaining membership of professional networks and securing appropriate oversight mechanisms are considered.
(2) Members of the expert group included representatives from LINK members: Lloyd Austin of RSPB Scotland, and Jonny Hughes of Scottish Wildlife Trust.
(3) Scottish Environment LINK views on the governance gap are captured in the following briefing: http://scotlink.org/files/documents/LINK-submission-to-Finance-and-Constitution-Committee-on-impact-of-EU-Withdrawal-Bill-on-devolution-settlement-and-expected-LCM.pdf