Scottish Environment LINK Welcomes Government’s Drive for a Greener Scotland

01 Sep 2020

Scottish Environment LINK, a coalition of Scotland’s leading environmental charities today welcomed Scottish government’s announcement to create new, green jobs to tackle the multiple crises the country is facing relating to climate change, rapid nature decline and the coronavirus. This comes after strong sector-wide and public support for actions to drive a green recovery from the pandemic.

A recent survey for Scottish Environment LINK showed that three-quarters of people in Scotland would prioritise measures for a green recovery including restoring Scotland’s landscapes and reducing our plastic waste [1].

The Programme for Government set out by the First Minister today (1 September) provided more detail on the government’s next steps to deliver an environmentally sustainable, green economic recovery [3]. This includes the creation of a Green Workforce and Skills Development package, alongside a £100m Green Jobs Fund.

This will allow Scotland’s environment agencies to provide essential training for young people in wide-ranging green skills, including environmental management and low carbon farming.

The coalition has published a series of recommendations for how the Scottish government could deliver this essential training and new green jobs with support of environmental NGOs [4]. These support projects throughout Scotland, which protect nature and reduce carbon emissions, examples of which include restoring Argyll’s Atlantic Rainforest and vital habitat reinstatement through the Cairngorms Connect project.

However, while the programme sets out positive next steps on boosting green employment and building a circular economy, there is less detail on plans to support climate-friendly farming in the long-term. Ambitions to increase access to urban greenspace through ‘20 minute neighbourhoods’ must also link in to promoting biodiversity in our towns and cities.

Vhairi Tollan, Advocacy Manager, Scottish Environment LINK said, “Throughout the coronavirus crisis we have all come to realise how much we rely on nature for our physical and mental wellbeing. But even before the pandemic nature itself was in crisis. Our polling shows that the public places a high importance on economic recovery measures that can lead us to a fairer, greener Scotland. The Programme for Government today includes a welcome focus on creating green jobs and training opportunities to transition us to a more sustainable society and restates the government’s commitment to address the twin climate and biodiversity crises.

Ahead of the Scottish Parliament election next May, it is now vital that political parties set out long-term plans to place nature and climate at the heart of the economic recovery agenda.”


[1] Scottish Environment LINK is the forum for Scotland’s voluntary environment community, with 39 member bodies representing a broad spectrum of environmental interests with the common goal of contributing to a more environmentally sustainable society

[2] Polling data is available upon request.

[3] SG Economic Recovery Implementation Plan



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