Following the publication of a critical report by the WWF in October 2001, the Scottish Executive promised ‘a Scotland that delivers sustainable development; that puts environmental concerns at the heart of public policy and secures environmental justice for all of Scotland's communities’. This paper examines the Scottish Executive's recent approach to sustainable development, and in particular, the processes and mechanisms used by the Scottish Executive with the aim of delivering sustainable development. It then uses this detailed analysis to test the theory that devolution is itself a policy for sustainable development. The paper concludes that generally, the Scottish Executive has made great strides in its commitment to sustainable development since the publication of the WWF report in 2001 and in many instances the devolution arrangements in Scotland have acted as a catalyst to the sustainable development agenda. However, the failure to produce a strategy severely limits the potential of other measures to deliver and implement sustainable development in an effective fashion. Without a strategy and action plan the danger is that these other measures can be piecemeal, inconsistent and counterproductive.
- Sustainable development
- Government policy