Last updated: 16 December 2021
The Environment Strategy for Scotland creates an overarching framework for Scotland’s strategies and plans for the environment and climate change. Its 2045 vision and supporting outcomes describe our guiding ambitions for restoring Scotland’s natural environment and playing our full role in tackling the global climate and nature crises. In turn, this will help to build a stronger, more resilient economy and improve the health and wellbeing of Scotland’s people. It will help to ensure we live within the planet’s sustainable limits as responsible global citizens.
The vision and outcomes were published in 2020 and are summarised below. Next, we will develop pathways for achieving the outcomes. These will identify strategic priorities and opportunities, working across government, to ensure our efforts are focused in the areas that will have greatest impact.
Environment Strategy Vision
One Earth. One home. One shared future.
By 2045: By restoring nature and ending Scotland’s contribution to climate change, our country is transformed for the better - helping to secure the wellbeing of our people and planet for generations to come.
Scotland’s natural environment is central to our identity as a nation. It is fundamental to our health, our quality of life and our economy.
We want Scotland’s nature to be resilient and abundant. We want to use its full potential to improve the wellbeing of people in Scotland – by ensuring that everyone can enjoy the life-supporting benefits it provides.
We share one planet and are sustained by the health of its natural systems. In Scotland, we will play our full part in responding to the global climate and nature crises – meeting our responsibilities to people across the planet and to future generations. We will be innovators and work collaboratively with others to develop solutions to global problems.
Through our work, our country will be transformed for the better. Our natural environment will be restored and resilient to whatever the future may bring. Our net zero, circular economy will be inclusive and sustainable, providing opportunities for all to prosper. We will have reduced the global impact of our consumption. And we will have supported the creation of an economy that thrives while securing wellbeing for our people and our planet.
Environment Strategy Outcomes
To achieve the 2045 vision, the Scottish Government and our partners will focus our collective efforts on delivering six shared outcomes:
Three outcomes describe our ambitions for the environment, focusing on nature, climate change and sustainable resource-use.
Three outcomes describe the relationship between the environment and wider ambitions for our economy, society and global citizenship.
Outcome: Scotland's nature is protected and restored with flourishing biodiversity and clean and healthy air, water, seas and soils
This outcome is about restoring the richness and resilience of nature in Scotland – for its own sake, and because it is fundamental to our health, wellbeing and prosperity. It means reversing biodiversity loss and improving the health and quality of our natural environment.
Outcome: We play our full role in tackling the global climate emergency and limiting temperature rise to 1.5°C
This outcome is about ending Scotland’s contribution to climate change, by meeting our net zero targets and reducing emissions associated with our consumption of imported products. It is also about adapting to the effects of climate change.
This outcome is about transitioning to a circular economy, where resources are used sustainably and kept in high value use for as long as possible, minimising waste.
This outcome is about the transformative changes to our economy needed to play Scotland’s role in tackling the global climate and nature crises. It is also about the new opportunities that the transition to a net zero, sustainable economy will create for Scotland, supporting our green economic recovery and boosting jobs, business and trade.
This outcome is about the transformative changes to our society needed to play Scotland’s role in tackling the climate and nature crises. It is also about the fundamental role of a healthy environment in supporting the health and wellbeing of Scotland’s people; and the positive social outcomes created through the just transition to a net zero, sustainable society, including the creation of quality jobs and promotion of fairness and environmental justice.
This outcome is about adapting to live within the Earth’s sustainable limits, and ensuring that the overseas impact of Scotland’s consumption is sustainable.
Contribution to National Outcomes and UN Sustainable Development Goals
As shown in the graphic below, working towards the Environment Strategy vision and outcomes will help to achieve a wide range of National Outcomes in Scotland’s National Performance Framework (NPF) and our contribution to many of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Further information on the contribution of the Environment Strategy vision and outcomes to the NPF and SDGs can be found here.