Read more about the SNP policy on improving animal welfare in Scotland.
The SNP Scottish Government introduced the Waste (Scotland) Regulations, which require all businesses and organisations to separate key materials for recycling, while most food businesses are also required to separate food waste collection.
Scotland is a nation of animal lovers and the SNP take the welfare of our pets and livestock very seriously. The Scottish Government have conducted an extensive consultation which has provided evidence that enough working dogs are suffering serious tail injuries to make the case for the law being changed.
The Scottish Parliament has passed legislation to ban the use of wild animals in circuses, demonstrating our commitment to improving animal wellbeing. We hope that this will lead the way for the rest of the UK in tackling the important ethical issue of the use of wild animals in travelling circuses.
The SNP understand the need to take decisive action to conserve our precious and valuable marine environment and biodiversity. Failure to protect coastal areas would result in permanent damage to habitats and the fish stocks they support.
December 2015 was the wettest December on record, and flooding caused devastation and misery for many people.
The SNP Scottish Government are committed to providing the support needed to help individuals, businesses and communities to recover from the damage caused by the unprecedented severe weather.
Scottish Landfill Tax is a tax on the disposal of waste to landfill. There are two rates of Landfill Tax – a standard rate for active materials and a lower rate for less polluting materials. The UK Government have reduced their equivalent Landfill credit rate to 4.2%, which we consider is the wrong decision for our environment. Therefore, we will maintain the existing credit rate of 5.6% in Scotland, ensuring landfill site operators contribute more to community and environmental projects than elsewhere in the UK.
In May 2016 Nicola Sturgeon appointed Scotland’s first ever Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, showing the importance the SNP place on the environment and our ambitions in this area.
The basic concept behind natural capital – the idea that economic growth cannot be sustained if it comes at a continuing and unsustainable cost to our natural resources – is one which is more urgent and more important than ever before.
The SNP Scottish Government have implemented several initiatives to encourage younger generations to participate in the environmental discussion and be active in implementing mitigating measures.
Our Biodiversity Strategy recognises that Scotland’s rich and diverse natural environment is a national asset which contributes hugely to our economy and to our wider sense of wellbeing. Trees help to absorb carbon dioxide and store it as carbon. In recent years, Scotland has been responsible for almost three quarters of the UK’s new tree planting. We have planted approximately 16 million trees every year.
Scotland’s peatland stores over 1,500 million tonnes of carbon, which is more than is held in all of the trees and vegetation across the whole of the UK. For Scotland, losing just 1% of our peatland would release the same amount of carbon as an entire year of human activity. So instead of reducing our peatland, we are investing in restoring it. In 2015 an investment of approximately £5m allowed the restoration of just over 20 square miles of peatland.
The SNP Scottish Government does not support the development of fracking in Scotland.
In October 2016 the Scottish Government announced underground coal gasification – or ‘UCG’ – will have no place in Scotland’s energy mix. This follows the findings of an independent report, carried out for the Scottish Government, showing that UCG poses numerous and serious environmental risks.
The SNP Government passed the Land Reform Act in March 2016, which will introduce major changes to how Scotland’s land is owned and managed. The aim of this legislation is to ensure that Scotland’s land must be an asset that benefits the many, not the few, and that our system of land rights promotes fairness, social justice, environmental sustainability and economic prosperity for all in our rural and urban communities.