8 MAKING THE LINKS: ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE
Graffiti at The Inch, Edinburgh
THIS STRATEGY WILL ALSO GIVE PRIORITY TO IMPROVING THE QUALITY OF LIFE OF INDIVIDUALS AND COMMUNITIES IN SCOTLAND, SECURING ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE FOR THOSE WHO SUFFER THE WORST LOCAL ENVIRONMENTS
8.1 This strategy is based upon the principles of environmental justice. The ultimate goal is to secure a fairer world and a fairer future, enabling 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. Our commitment to reducing the size of Scotland's global environmental impact (see chapter 11) is a reflection of our commitment to environmental justice.
8.2 This strategy will also give priority to improving the quality of life of individuals and communities in Scotland, securing environmental justice for those who suffer the worst local environments.
8.3 The principles underpinning our approach to Closing the Opportunity Gap can equally be applied to environmental concerns. We recognise that Scotland's most deprived communities may also be most vulnerable to the pressures of poor local environments. Environmental justice is focused upon addressing this inequity. When we talk about environmental justice we are talking not only about addressing the unfair burden carried by communities who live in the most degraded environments but also about fairness in providing the information and opportunities for people to participate in decisions affecting their local environments.
8.4 Environmental justice is both an urban and a rural issue. It is concerned just as much with local street-level environmental problems as with larger-scale sources of pollution and the built environment is as significant as green places and biodiversity.
8.5 For the last three years the Executive has been pioneering new approaches to environmental justice. This work has helped improve our understanding of these complex issues and the interventions that are required to tackle them.
8.6 We will continue to develop this agenda in Scotland including actions and outcomes set out in this strategy as follows:
- Waste - moving away from over-dependence on landfill which can have a significant negative impact upon some communities
- Transport - pursuing improvements in transport to tackle growth in road traffic, reduce congestion and improve air quality
- Housing improvements - tackling fuel poverty and building safety and security into new housing at the design stage
- Quality of life improvements - tackling problems on the ground leading to improvements in the local environment, personal well-being and safer communities
- Regeneration - building environmental objectives in regeneration and simplifying access to funding in this area
- Greenspace - providing parks and greenspaces, making neighbourhoods healthier and more attractive places to live and work
- Flooding - protecting communities from flooding, which may have a disproportionate impact on low income families
- Health - directing a new focus on the connections between environmental conditions and health outcomes
- Decision-making - supporting greater public participation, modernising the planning system and providing more accessible, useful information on the environment
- Learning - developing a new programme to support learning through doing with a focus on deprived neighbourhoods.