With the effects of climate change and biodiversity loss and an unsustainable level of human consumption leading to a depletion in quality of our air, land and sea, Scotland’s forthcoming Environment Strategy seeks to confront the challenges and the expectations brought about by the Climate Emergency, while ensuring Scotland is at the forefront of the green revolution and is able to benefit economically from it.
Throughout the year, in Scotland and beyond, environmental issues have ascended to the very top of the political agenda and as such, there have been calls for the Environment Strategy to have equal status with the Economic Strategy. Should the Scottish Government accede to this notion, it would be an admission there are other indicators of Scotland’s yardstick of success beyond GDP growth and economic output.
But nonetheless, prosperity is still of importance. Between now and 2030 and ecoservices system already contributes £20bn to the Scottish economy every year. To realise its draft vision of ‘One Planet Prosperity’, the Scottish Government envisages Scotland being the best place in the world to invest in low carbon business technology and continuing to build on our reputation as a nation with excellence in designing, research and innovation to be at the cutting edge of this agenda while ensuring a Just Transition to protect those on the lowest incomes.
Join us at this timely and necessary event as we recap on the plethora of existing policy which sits within the environment brief; explore the broad implications of what the new environment strategy may entail for professions within public sector and beyond; consider the resources for delivery and the mechanisms already in place at a local and national level for this purpose illuminating any gaps and how to facilitate or best compel behavioural change by individuals which ensure the draft vision, outcomes and the various targets the Scottish Government has committed to – particularly on climate change and protecting biodiversity – are met.
09:30 Registration and Refreshments
10:00 Welcome and Introduction from the Chair
Session 1: Environment Policy – where have we been and how have we got here?
- Prior the declaration of a climate emergency by the First Minister earlier this year, there was a plethora of dispersed strategies and delivery plans. The exact position of the strategy is still to be outlined – whether it sits above; amalgamates and builds upon or supplants these policy directive documents. This session will be an overview of the policy landscape across the environment portfolio already in place to provide apt context for the remainder of the day.
10:05 Professor Colin T Reid, Professor of Environmental Law, School of Social Sciences, University of Dundee
10:20 Questions and Discussion
10:30 Interactive session
11:20 Refreshments and Networking
Session 2: Next steps in meeting the challenges and making the best of opportunities as a result of the Climate Emergency
- Immediate and strategic challenges presented by Brexit in the context of the Climate Emergency from implementing EU legislation into Scots law; distribution of replacement funding and resources; alternative policy options to replace the labour, scientific expertise and principles and environmental standards Scotland is currently privy to deriving from membership of the EU.
- Just transition
- Review of current framework for delivery of current and future policy priorities
- Developing the green economy in Scotland so it is able to become the global destination of FDI for low-carbon technology
- Leveraging the benefits of Scotland’s natural capital into sustainable economic growth, social justice and improved health outcomes
11:40 Vhairi Tollan, Advocacy Manager, Scottish Environment LINK
11:55 Senior representative, Just Transition
12:20 Senior representative, Consultancy
12:20 Senior representative, Local Authority
12:50 Questions and Discussion
13:15 Lunch and Networking
14:05 Session 3: State and Activity: Delivering the draft vision and outcomes as envisioned for an Environment Strategy for Scotland
- WWF Scotland have described Outcomes 3 and 4 (on biodiversity and on fresh air, water and soils) in the Discussion Paper as ‘state outcomes’, with the rest as ‘activity outcomes’ – discussion of how we get to these ‘states’ through the activities stipulated and ultimately deliver the draft vision in the strategy and the wider vision of contributing to a sustainable planet, safe for future generations.
- What’s this going to cost and how could this be resourced and delivered in practice?
- Engaging with stakeholders – economic, transport, planning, those involved in land ownership and reform – creating a Scotland that allows people to live more environmentally-sustainable lives
14:05 Dr Sheila George, Food & Environment Policy Manager, WWF Scotland
14:15 Senior representative, Planning
14:25 Senior representative, Biodiversity
14:35 Hamish Trench, Chief Executive, Scottish Land Commission
15:45 Senior representative, Central Government
15:10 Questions and Discussion
15:35 Closing Remarks from Chair
15:40 Close of Event
*Agenda subject to change