Mar 4, 2024

New environmental consultations in Scotland

A couple of new consultations are out which will have implications for managing environmental issues in Scotland.  The first is about biodiversity.  The second is, perhaps surprisingly to some, about water efficiency

‘Tackling the nature emergency’ [1] is based around various strategies and proposals aimed at addressing biodiversity loss and the nature emergency in Scotland using the Biodiversity Strategic Framework:

  1. Scottish Biodiversity Strategy: A document outlining a target to halt and reverse biodiversity loss in Scotland. It includes specific outcomes and 33 priority actions designed to achieve this vision.


  1. Delivery Plan: The first five-year Delivery Plan, outlining the actions required to achieve the long-term targets set by the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy. It aims to:
    • Halt and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030: focuses on immediate actions to achieve this goal, including habitat restoration, species protection, and tackling invasive species.
    • Protect 30% of land and seas by 2030: The “30 by 30” initiative aims to safeguard and manage these areas for biodiversity conservation.
    • Achieve “Nature Positive” status, with restored and regenerated ecosystems across the nation by 2045.
  1. Proposed Natural Environment Bill: A key aspect of the proposed legislation is the introduction of legally binding nature restoration targets.


For Scottish organisations trying to make a difference, this consultation has the barebones of targets necessary. At this stage there is a lack of clear data and targets.

Scotland is experiencing rising temperatures, changing rainfall patterns, and rising sea levels. These changes threaten water availability, quality, and infrastructure. The current average lpd in Scotland is 185 [2], which compared to the average UK consumption of 142 lpd [3] is substantially higher. Scotland don’t currently have legislation to incentivise and enforce reduction, while the rest of the UK has their own relative targets [4]. In an effort to resolve these issues, a second consultation ‘Water, wastewater and drainage’ [5] was conducted.

Key recommendations and takeaways:

  • Remove rainwater from sewers to reduce strain on wastewater systems.
  • Increase water efficiency to reduce demand and leakage.
  • Address water scarcity for those relying on private supplies (burns and streams).
  • Consider the cost-benefit of adapting now vs. later and building new infrastructure vs. changing behaviours.

This consultation does not mention any specific targets and goals but outlines some key issues affecting Scottish residents currently. We shall continue to keep an eye out for the follow-up goals and targets set by the Government as a result of this consultation.

If you are a Scottish social landlord and would like to discuss how you can start monitoring your environmental impact and progress, contact us at SHIFT, where we’d be glad to help get you on your way to improving your local environment.


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Photo by Scot Kennedy on Unsplash


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