1 BUILDING A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE: A NEW STRATEGY FOR SCOTLAND
Europe at nightWE HAVE TO BUILD, FAST, ON THAT PROGRESS AND MOMENTUM IF SCOTLAND IS TO MAKE THE RADICAL CHANGES THAT ARE NOW URGENTLY REQUIRED
1.1 Scotland is committed to building a sustainable future. Individuals, businesses, local authorities and communities are taking action to change the way we use resources, plan and develop services, and seize the economic opportunities that sustainable development presents. Policies and programmes are in place to drive change in key areas: transforming the way we deal with our waste, capitalising on Scotland's sources of renewable energy and taking action on climate change.
1.2 We have to build, fast, on that progress and momentum if Scotland is to make the radical changes that are now urgently required.
1.3 This is a priority that is shared across the UK and the international community. Scotland signed up to a new UK shared framework for sustainable development, One future - different paths1, in March this year. The framework sets out a common goal for sustainable development across the UK:
"to enable all people throughout the world to satisfy their basic needs and enjoy a better quality of life without compromising the quality of life of future generations"
and a powerful new set of principles that will help us to achieve it and which underpin the approach that we are adopting in Scotland (see below).
1.4 This strategy sets out the measures that we will take in Scotland to turn the framework into action.
UK shared framework: principles for sustainable development
1.5 The UK framework challenges governments to "promote a clear understanding of and commitment to sustainable development so that all people can contribute to the overall goal through their individual decisions". This strategy for Scotland has been prepared with that challenge in mind:
- The document sets out at a high level what we are trying to achieve in Scotland.
- It provides the strategic framework for a number of the Executive's new and emerging strategies on climate change, transport, renewable energy, energy efficiency, green jobs and biodiversity. It does not attempt to replicate the detail of those programmes.
- Each section sets out the outcomes that we are working towards: what difference new and existing programmes and investment will make.
- It looks at these issues from different perspectives: from a focus on the health and well-being of individuals in Scotland through to the sustainability of the planet, with learning to live more sustainably a theme which runs across them all. This is illustrated in the facing diagram.
- Some key issues - travel, food, waste and the built environment - are considered in the round, to help illustrate the connections between both problems and solutions.
- It sets out the contribution that people in Scotland can make, whether individually or collectively.
1.6 The strategy also draws out the connections between issues, making the links between problems that are often presented as disparate and disconnected. The strategy explores for example:
- the social and environmental consequences of our purchasing choices and use of resources
- the interaction between people and the environment we live in
- the human consequences of global environmental challenges such as climate change.
1.7 Making the links can be an effective stimulus to action, encouraging us to spot solutions and deliver creative new approaches. It is a more efficient way of taking action, pooling resources in the pursuit of common goals. And it can help us to build new partnerships and alliances with other businesses, groups or individuals who have similar objectives. The strategy includes examples of people in Scotland taking action in this way and of the links that are being made. We hope these will inspire others to follow suit.