Scottish Environment LINK, a coalition of over 40 leading environment charities has welcomed the inclusion in the draft SNP-Green deal of legally binding targets to halt the rapid decline of Scotland’s nature by 2030.
The deal, announced today (20 Aug), commits a potential SNP-Green government to introducing a Natural Environment Bill in 2023-24 that will set targets to stop the loss of Scotland’s wildlife and plants, and set nature on track to recovery on land and at sea.
The deal comes at a time when biodiversity in Scotland and worldwide is declining faster than at any time in human history. In Scotland alone, almost half of our species (49%) have declined in numbers in the last 50 years, and one in nine is at risk of extinction.
While welcoming the commitment to nature restoration targets, the charities have expressed concern that the legislation is not due until 2023-24, given the current rapid decline of Scotland’s nature.
Since 2018, through the campaign Fight for Scotland’s Nature, Scottish Environment LINK has been calling for legally binding targets for the recovery of nature.
Deborah Long, chief officer of Scottish Environment LINK, said:
“Scotland’s nature is central to the lives of Scotland’s people, but it’s in real trouble. We need to treat the nature crisis with the same urgency as the climate crisis, and take action now before it’s too late. We’re delighted by the inclusion of legally binding targets for nature in this deal, but we’re concerned that delaying their introduction for up to three years will make halting the decline of nature by 2030 more difficult. We hope to see swift action to bring targets into law and make the recovery of our wonderful nature a reality.”
The deal between the Greens and the SNP needs the approval of both parties’ decision-making bodies before it can go ahead.