Four internationally recognised environmental legal principles guide EU policy making on the environment. They form an essential component of environmental law.
Scotland’s environment has been shaped by these principles, from action on genetically modified crops and fracking to the introduction of a deposit return scheme and measures to tackle climate change.
The Fight for Scotland’s Nature campaign called for the four principles to be embedded in Scots law, so that they could continue to form the basis of Scotland’s environmental policy after the UK’s departure from the EU. Following two years of pressure from campaigners, the Scottish government’s EU Continuity Bill embedded the four key principles into Scots law and stipulated that Scottish ministers and policy makers must ‘have regard’ to them when developing new policies or legislation.
In addition, we were pleased that the principle of integration was also included in the bill, requiring consideration of the environment to be embedded across all areas of government.