The Millennium Debate on Scotland's Future in preparation for the Rio+10 Conference in South Africa in autumn 2002.

In the last few decades Scotland and its people have enjoyed much greater prosperity.

  • For most, housing standards have improved
  • More have cars, videos, personal computers
  • Spending on holidays and leisure has increased

However these improvements have been at a cost, most particularly in the use of scarce resources:

  • Increasingly our production of gases from our cars and homes is contributing to climate chaos.
  • We are wasting more materials than ever. For example, consumption of plastics has doubled in the last 15 years and only 3% is recycled.
  • 25% of Scotland wild plant species are in decline.

Just as important, despite some good general progress on raising incomes, we have still failed to conquer poverty and poor living environments. Many of Scotland's people do not enjoy "the good things of life"

Our challenge for the future is the sustainable development challenge. How can we continue our path of economic growth while

  • reducing our demands on the earth's resources
  • improving our environment
  • tackling poverty and social division.

This sustainable development agenda was set out at the Rio Summit in 1992. We need to review progress toward sustainable development since then:

  • What has been done well?
  • What could be done better?

We also need to debate the type of sustainable Scotland that we want The debate raises many vital questions e.g.

  • How should Scotland met its energy needs?
  • Over 90% of our waste is sent to landfill? How can we use resources more wisely by reducing the amount of waste we produce and increasing recycling?
  • How should we travel around in the 21st century?
  • How can the elimination of poverty and social division be a full part of Scotland's move to sustainable development?
  • How should Scotland's plants, wildlife and their habitats be protected and enhanced as part of sustainable development?

This is your chance to influence the debate. The discussion on the future of Scotland is not for Government alone. It is for all the country-individuals, community groups, businesses, trade unions and students.