Thank you for your email on such an important matter.
It is shocking that Scotland frequently ranks so badly in Biodiversity Intactness Indexes. Scotland’s native species inspire and sustain our health and culture.
Scottish Labour has pledged to develop a Biodiversity Action Plan for land, air and sea, with adequate funding, which the whole country can coalesce around before it is too late. Scotland needs greater investment in climate adaption, which recognises the risks of flooding with coastal protection, river basin management and flood prevention schemes. We must ensure that the opportunity to sequester carbon in our marine environment is adequately funded.
We recognise the link between the reform of food production and sustainability, including energy use, water, biodiversity, soil, food waste and land use. Scottish Labour supports the principle of public money for public goods, such as clean water and air, beautiful scenery, and biodiversity provision. Peatlands, forests and seagrass will also continue to play an essential role in the shift towards net-zero emissions as well as the vital biodiversity improvements needed. We could also consider further incentive schemes to ensure all major landowners play their part.
Unfortunately, the Scottish Government are not doing enough to meet green targets, including biodiversity, climate adaptation and low emissions. The recent Climate Change Committee Report was scathing on their actions so far, and the unlikelihood of meeting the SNP’s own targets. As such, it was then a disappointment that not enough support was given to biodiversity in the budget that followed days later. Not only that, but the SNP Government has a history of raiding climate budgets when funding is tight, which shows no long term awareness or commitment to the losses of biodiversity that will result.
Scottish Labour will continue scrutinising the legislation and funding for biodiversity, and will pursue all methods to improve both.
Thank you again for contacting me on this issue.