Schedule 2 — Criteria for Determining the Likely Significance of Effects on the Environment

Environmental Assessment (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 – in the Scottish Parliament at 3:45 pm on 9th November 2005.

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Photo of Trish Godman Trish Godman Labour 3:45 pm, 9th November 2005

That brings us, finally, to group 10, on the criteria for determining effects likely to be significant. Amendment 11, in the name of Rosie Kane, is in a group on its own.

Photo of Rosie Kane Rosie Kane SSP

Schedule 2 provides no reference to the implications that a plan, programme or strategy might have for national environmental goals and targets—[ Interruption. ]

Photo of Rosie Kane Rosie Kane SSP

I refer to targets such as renewable energy targets, emissions targets or even targets for noise levels in the chamber.

The Executive has no national targets on emissions or recycling, despite calls from the environmental movement for such targets to be adopted and despite the Executive's constant claim that it has a green agenda. The inclusion of such targets is key to the bill. A result on the amendment would force the Executive to adopt such targets, which would be to the benefit both of the environment and of the communities that have to live with, for example, the blight of high levels of air pollution or a landfill site on their doorstep.

I move amendment 11.

Photo of Mr Mark Ruskell Mr Mark Ruskell Green

Targets are of course extremely important, but I will be interested to hear what the minister says about schedule 2. If he can give us a commitment on the record that paragraph 2(f)(ii) of schedule 2 relates specifically to targets such as those for emissions and recycling, we might have to think twice about supporting amendment 11. However, we need a commitment from the minister that paragraph 2(f)(ii) relates to those very important national targets.

Photo of Ross Finnie Ross Finnie Liberal Democrat

Amendment 11, in the name of Rosie Kane, would add the words

"national environmental targets on emissions and recycling" to paragraph 2 of schedule 2.

I am grateful to Mark Ruskell for drawing the member's attention to the provisions that are already contained in paragraph 2(f)(ii) of schedule 2. I ask her to look carefully at that paragraph, which gives the following criteria for determining the likely significance of effects on the environment:

"Characteristics of the effects and of the area likely to be affected, having regard, in particular, to ... the value and vulnerability of the area likely to be affected due to ... exceeded environmental quality standards or limit values".

For the benefit of Rosie Kane and Mark Ruskell, I state that I am absolutely clear that the broad definition in paragraph 2(f)(ii) refers to matters on which the Executive has set an environmental quality standard or a limit value. I believe that paragraph 2(f)(ii) not only answers the point that is raised in Rosie Kane's amendment but, in so far as it is not specific, it goes further than it. Any environmental quality standard or limit value that the Executive sets will be caught by the mischief of paragraph 2.

Given that the matter is well provided for, I hope that Rosie Kane will not press amendment 11.

Photo of Rosie Kane Rosie Kane SSP

Targets, goals and aims are essential and they should be enshrined clearly in the bill. Targets are essential so that we know where we are going, as well as how and when we will get there. Surely all members can get behind amendment 11. The inclusion of targets is crucial to aiming for and achieving a better, safer environment and to showing whether we have done so. I press amendment 11.

Photo of Trish Godman Trish Godman Labour

The question is, that amendment 11 be agreed to. Are we agreed?

Members:

No.

Division number 12

For: Curran, Frances, Fox, Colin, Kane, Rosie, Leckie, Carolyn, Murray, Dr Elaine
Against: Adam, Brian, Aitken, Bill, Alexander, Ms Wendy, Arbuckle, Mr Andrew, Baillie, Jackie, Baker, Richard, Barrie, Scott, Boyack, Sarah, Brankin, Rhona, Brocklebank, Mr Ted, Brown, Robert, Brownlee, Derek, Chisholm, Malcolm, Craigie, Cathie, Crawford, Bruce, Cunningham, Roseanna, Curran, Ms Margaret, Davidson, Mr David, Deacon, Susan, Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James, Eadie, Helen, Ewing, Fergus, Ewing, Mrs Margaret, Fabiani, Linda, Ferguson, Patricia, Fergusson, Alex, Finnie, Ross, Gibson, Rob, Gillon, Karen, Glen, Marlyn, Godman, Trish, Gordon, Mr Charlie, Gorrie, Donald, Grahame, Christine, Henry, Hugh, Home Robertson, John, Hughes, Janis, Hyslop, Fiona, Ingram, Mr Adam, Jackson, Dr Sylvia, Jamieson, Cathy, Jamieson, Margaret, Johnstone, Alex, Kerr, Mr Andy, Lamont, Johann, Livingstone, Marilyn, Lochhead, Richard, Lyon, George, MacAskill, Mr Kenny, Macdonald, Lewis, Macintosh, Mr Kenneth, Maclean, Kate, Macmillan, Maureen, Martin, Paul, Marwick, Tricia, Mather, Jim, Matheson, Michael, May, Christine, McAveety, Mr Frank, McCabe, Mr Tom, McConnell, Mr Jack, McFee, Mr Bruce, McGrigor, Mr Jamie, McMahon, Michael, McNeil, Mr Duncan, McNeill, Pauline, McNulty, Des, Mitchell, Margaret, Morrison, Mr Alasdair, Muldoon, Bristow, Mulligan, Mrs Mary, Munro, John Farquhar, Oldfather, Irene, Peacock, Peter, Peattie, Cathy, Pringle, Mike, Radcliffe, Nora, Robison, Shona, Robson, Euan, Rumbles, Mike, Scanlon, Mary, Scott, John, Scott, Tavish, Smith, Elaine, Smith, Iain, Smith, Margaret, Stevenson, Stewart, Stone, Mr Jamie, Swinney, Mr John, Turner, Dr Jean, Wallace, Mr Jim, Welsh, Mr Andrew, Whitefield, Karen, Wilson, Allan
Abstentions: Baird, Shiona, Ballance, Chris, Ballard, Mark, Harper, Robin, Harvie, Patrick, Ruskell, Mr Mark, Scott, Eleanor, Swinburne, John

Photo of Trish Godman Trish Godman Labour

The result of the division is: For 5, Against 94, Abstentions 8.

Amendment 11 disagreed to.