The Executive’s consultation document, Checking for Change, outlines five categories of indicators:

  • energy, including greenhouse gas emissions, and the number of households where heating comprises over 10% of income;
  • resources, including the percentage of waste recycled;
  • transport, including total volumes of traffic, and access to public transport;
  • air quality, measuring air pollution; and
  • nature, including trends in natural habitats.

Sustainable development is to be put at the heart of policy making in Scotland, said Ross Finnie, Minister for Environment and Rural Affairs. “This means that decisions will be taken on the basis of what is most socially, economically and environmentally sustainable in the long term.”

“We now seek views on the adoption of these sustainable development indicators,” added Finnie. “What indicators does Scotland need to reflect the challenges we face? Is there one headline indicator individuals or organisations believe would serve as a universal guide?”

The Executive intends that the consultation document should be read in conjunction with a second document by an independent company which reviews the existing sets of indicators in Scotland, as well as those from Europe and beyond. Comments should be sent by 28 September to [email protected], or by post to Mark Stirling, Sustainable Development Team, Scottish Executive, 1-H Bridge, Victoria Quay, Edinburgh EH6 6QQ.

The UK government has already published a set of sustainable development indicators.

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