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Over 150 campaigners call on Scottish Government to pass world leading legislation

A broad group of campaigners have united in calling for wellbeing and sustainable development to be at the heart of policy making in Scotland

Dear First Minister, it's time to place wellbeing and sustainable development at the heart of policy making

Over 150 social and environmental justice NGOs, grassroots community groups, faith groups, service providers, funders, economists, academics, think tanks and business leaders have joined forces in an open letter to the First Minister. The broad group is united in their support of the proposed Wellbeing and Sustainable Development Bill.

The letter, led by the Wellbeing Economy Alliance Scotland (WEAll Scotland), is signed by Citizens Advice Scotland, 2050 Climate Group, The Poverty Alliance, Scotland’s International Development Alliance, Independent Food Aid Network, Co-operatives UK, and many others. It sets out how the proposed Bill can ensure the National Outcomes, and the framework they sit in, can be a golden thread that ties together policies across government to enable effective action. In the letter campaigners proclaim: “We believe this Bill can set out a road map for a future where everyone in Scotland can thrive.”

WEAll Scotland Director, Aileen McLeod, said: “The Wellbeing and Sustainable Development Bill is a vital step towards establishing a Wellbeing Economy in Scotland. This is an opportunity to pass world leading legislation that creates a clear and shared narrative of progress for Scotland. It places wellbeing and sustainable development as the main drivers of policy and practice.

“Right now, we are facing multiple crises for people and planet. In a just and compassionate Scotland, it is unacceptable that people are struggling as we face increasing financial and environmental challenges. But our progress is hampered by a lack of clarity and competing goals. We urgently need this Bill to enable and inspire bold action from government and society.”

The letter, sent to the First Minister John Swinney earlier this week, sets out three key asks to ensure the Wellbeing and Sustainable Development Bill reaches its full potential: 

  1. Commit to a meaningful Wellbeing and Sustainable Development Bill in the next Programme for Government.

  2. Use the Bill to strengthen Scotland’s democracy by embedding participation in the creation of our shared vision captured in the National Outcomes. 

  3. Establish a Future Generations Commissioner.

Satwat Rehman, Chief Executive at One Parent Families Scotland, said: “We at OPFS fully support the proposed Wellbeing and Sustainable Development Bill. Single Parents have told us that for their children’s future it is vital that sustainable development and wellbeing become the most important factors influencing policy priorities across all levels of government.  Achieving a Wellbeing Economy in Scotland which prioritises a well-balanced relationship between society and nature, with a fair distribution of resources to tackle inequality and poverty, and healthy and resilient communities is what we should all aspire to.”

Becky Kenton-Lake, Coalition Manager at Stop Climate Chaos, said: “If the Scottish Government is serious about addressing the climate crisis, they must redesign our economy so that it operates within planetary limits and prioritises the wellbeing of individuals. The Wellbeing and Sustainable Development Bill is a critical opportunity to deliver the fair, sustainable economy that we need both now and for future generations.”

Sarah Davidson, Chief Executive at Carnegie UK, said: "Carnegie UK supports a Wellbeing and Sustainable Development Bill that will leave a lasting legacy for generations to come. The Bill is an opportunity for the Scottish Government to pass world-leading legislation. It would enable them to embed a long-term approach, by providing a vision and clear guidance for public bodies and others to put wellbeing at the heart of decision making."

Download the letter to the First Minister along with list of signatories below.

WEAll Scotland WSD Bill open letter
Download PDF • 74KB

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