The Scottish Government has published the Programme for Government 2022 to 2023.
Scotland’s International Development Alliance welcomes the Scottish Government’s acknowledgement of the importance of a global approach to dealing with the injustices of climate change as signalled in the new Programme for Government as well as the additional funding for Halo Trust to carry on their lifesaving work removing landmines and explosives. In addition it is welcome that the earlier commitment to an increase to the International Development fund to £15 million by the end of the parliamentary term has been reasserted as well as the allocation of £36 million to support climate justice work. Bold action is required to address our own emissions, and to reduce the future potential impact on climate vulnerable countries. The Alliance supports calls for the Government to take faster policy action to meet climate targets.
We urge the Government to clarify their commitment to ‘explore how to ensure the interests of future generations are taken into account in decisions made today’ and the acknowledgement that ‘This may include placing duties on public bodies and local government to take account of the impact of their decisions on wellbeing and sustainable development, and the creation of a Future Generations’ Commissioner.’ This seems to fall short of the existing commitment to a Wellbeing and Sustainable Development Bill. The Alliance has campaigned for the introduction of a robust Wellbeing and Sustainable Development Bill to support delivery of our national outcomes, and to take into consideration the global impact of decision making. We are also calling for a Wellbeing & Sustainable Development Commissioner to incorporate commitments to future generations. Our recommendations are available in this report, and we look forward to hearing more about plans for a consultation on the Bill which was a commitment in last year’s Programme for Government.
We also look forward to understanding how the government intends to take forward the commitment made in March 2021 to a Human Rights Bill for Scotland incorporating four international conventions as well as endorsing a right to a healthy environment. The Alliance is pleased that the consultation for this Bill will go ahead this session.