The Scottish Natural Environment Bill will include legally binding nature restoration targets


As part of the deal, the two sides released a joint political platform that sets out their now combined green political ambitions, which have been widely praised by green groups.

In the draft policy document, the parties pledge to pass a natural environment bill that they believe will put in place key legislative changes to restore and protect nature, including targets for the restoration of nature. legally binding nature to halt the decline of Scotland’s biodiversity by 2030.

The document says the aim would be to introduce legislation in the third year of this parliamentary session, following on from Scotland’s new biodiversity strategy due to be released in 2022.

The introduction of such legally binding targets has been a bone of contention for green groups in England campaigning on the environmental bill, and environmental NGO Scottish Environment Link has said it looks forward to working with them. the Scottish Government to roll out its implementation, if the policy is upheld.

Nonetheless, Deborah Long, director of Scottish Environment Link, said that “with 1 in 9 species in Scotland threatened with national extinction, it is worrying that this legislation is in the second half of the parliamentary session”.

Other green commitments in the SNP-Green Pact document include commitments to designate at least one new national park by the end of the current parliamentary session, to integrate natural networks into national planning policy to enable key habitats and wildlife to thrive, support for regenerative agriculture, and better protections for Scotland’s marine habitats.

Measures are also outlined to reduce packaging waste in a circular economy bill and a guarantee of multi-year funding through the new Nature Restoration Fund, which, among other things, will be used to restore and extend the tropical rainforests of the Atlantic in Scotland.

He also suggests that an environmental justice review and a review of the case in an environmental tribunal should take place, starting in spring 2023.

The parties also commit in the draft document to provide the recommendations of the Grouse Moor Management Review Panel “as a matter of urgency”, including the licensing of grouse lands.

The policy document notes that while the SNP and the Greens “do not fully agree on the role of the oil and gas sector”, they accept that countries around the world cannot pursue “the unlimited recovery of hydrocarbons if the objectives of the Paris Agreement are to be met ”.

This difference of opinion is notable since the Scottish Prime Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, recently wrote to the British government to call for a “reassessment” of the controversial plans for new oil exploration off the coast of Shetland.

Scottish Labor and climate activists both decried Sturgeon’s intervention as simply “a small step towards a position”.

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