For too long we have seen policies that prioritise short-term outcomes with no or little regard for their long-term implications. This stems from a lack of co-operation and co-ordination between Governments, Government departments and the wider public sector. With no thought given to how decisions made today will impact and affect future generations, it is no wonder that the UK Climate Change Committee reported that we are increasingly unlikely to reach our commitment to Net Zero by 2050.

The commitment to reach Net Zero by 2050 is becoming increasingly important, with the consequences of climate change becoming ever more evident. With devastating flooding in Pakistan, and crippling droughts in Sub-Saharan Africa earlier this year, the Co-operative Party has been calling for greater co-operation domestically and abroad to achieve climate justice through international development. This would not only help combat the effects of climate change but also provide a better life for many, providing greater opportunities to take part in the decision making process.

The Scottish Government has been too slow to respond to calls from stakeholders to be bolder in achieving a wellbeing economy that focuses on creating a fairer more sustainable future. The National Performance Framework was meant to ensure all aspects of Government worked together to achieve objectives for Scotland, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). But it did not put the Framework on a statutory footing meaning there are no binding duties on public bodies that would foster the policy cohesion so desperately needed.

Moreover, in spite of the importance placed on it by the SNP-led Scottish Government there is no clear definition of what Sustainable Development and Wellbeing actually mean. Research by The Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) showed that 35 Acts of the Scottish Parliament (including the Good Food Nation (Scotland) Act championed by our party), but there is no recognised statutory definition. In some cases this has created confusion, in others it has led to a policy objective by legislators to go unfulfilled.

The Scottish Government did say they would consult on introducing a Wellbeing and Sustainable Development Bill, but the Government has yet to bring forward any meaningful consultation. It therefore remains unclear whether the Scottish Government intends to do so or pass legislation within this Parliamentary session.

That is why I am launching my proposed Members Bill on a Wellbeing and Sustainable Development (Scotland) Bill. This Bill would renew and further Scotland’s commitment to sustainable development, introduce a Commissioner similar to the Future Generations Commissioner in Wales, and place duties on public sector bodies in Scotland to ensure decisions meet the needs of present generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

We owe it to future generations to leave behind a planet where they can live and thrive.

This would ensure that Public Bodies across Scotland will have to co-operate and work together to make sure decisions meet the needs of present generations, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

As part of the process of making this Bill as strong and effective as possible I want to hear from as many interested parties as possible. You can answer the consultation process here.

The Scottish People overwhelmingly want to see a country that works together to deliver a more sustainable future. I believe that this bill will do just that, as well as providing an opportunity to create a fairer, more balanced country. By bringing this Bill forward, Scottish Labour and the Co-operative Party are demonstrating their commitments to ensuring we leave behind a planet that is suitable for future generations.