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Europe and the environment

Published: 3 Oct 2016 15:55

Environment Secretary welcomes roundtable on impact of referendum.

A panel of experts met today to discuss the impact of the EU referendum on the environment and climate change.

The roundtable was chaired by Professor Dame Anne Glover with members drawn from different areas of expertise in academia and environmental organisations.

The panel will provide advice to the Scottish Government's Standing Council on Europe, set up by the First Minister.

At today's meeting experts discussed ways of maintaining Scotland's role as a leader on environmental issues, and how to build links with other policy areas, including energy, land use and agriculture.

Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said:

"The European Union has been a significant driver of environmental policy and legislation for the last 40 years. Scotland trades internationally on our dynamic economy underpinned by our reputation as a clean, green country with wholesome food and drink. The quality of our natural environment is vital to our attractiveness as a tourist destination.

"We must continue to do our utmost to protect our position as climate change leaders, to continue to play the role that we have been playing in contributing to EU-wide environmental policies, and to make sure that we maintain, protect and advance our own environment.

"Since the EU referendum result I have been actively engaging in discussions with our stakeholders to improve our understanding of the nature of the challenges. I very much look forward to hearing the roundtable's advice on where we ought to focus our efforts so we can do the best we can for Scotland."

Professor Dame Anne Glover said:

"I was pleased to be asked by Professor Anton Muscatelli to chair the environmental roundtable in support of the Standing Council on Europe.

"The first meeting was very constructive, with a wide ranging discussion of topics around climate change and the natural environment. Scotland has shown an ability to think creatively and take a lead on environmental issues. We need to consider how to preserve and strengthen this role in an uncertain future.

"The roundtable will seek to forge links with other policy areas, particularly in energy, land use and agriculture. I look forward to further discussions to act as strong basis to take constructive ideas back to the next meeting of the Standing Council on Europe."

Notes to editors

Those in attendance at today's meeting were Lloyd Austin from the RSPB, Lang Banks from WWF Scotland, Dr Richard Dixon from Friends of the Earth Scotland, Professor Campbell Gemmell from the University of Glasgow, Jonny Hughes from the Scottish Wildlife Trust, Professor Elisa Morgera from the University of Strathclyde, Professor Pete Smith from the University of Aberdeen and ClimateXChange, and Dr Mark Williams from Scottish Water.