Find out more about the issues facing Scotland’s environment, with links to useful data, contacts and information from our partners.
The quality of the air around us is affected by pollutants released into the atmosphere. Our understanding of of air pollution and its causes has improved significantly and citizens can get involved in monitoring. While overall air quality has improved, there are still some areas where poor air quality affects human health and the environment.
The world’s climate is changing. While the recent rapid changes in climate can be attributed to human activities, the climate has also changed throughout geological time. Changes in Scotland’s climate and the effect on our weather will have major implications for our way of life.
Scotland's environment supports a wide and diverse range of species, and consists of a complex mosaic of habitats which makes up our rich and varied landscape.
Scotland’s land is a valuable asset. It has evolved over billions of years and is constantly changing. Subsurface, land provides us with valuable resources (minerals, ores, aggregates and fuel). On its surface, we grow food and timber, build roads and houses, and much of our water filters through it. Land stores carbon and supports a wide range of habitats and species.
Activities of people impact on the environment, and our surrounding environment affects us all. Cities and towns, historic surroundings, recreation opportunities and many aspects of our health and wellbeing are shaped by the environment. We all have a part to play in its protection and conservation.
Scotland’s water is essential for our health and prosperity. As well as being used for drinking, water is used in industry, producing energy, and for recreational activities. Our water supports an array of habitats and contains nationally and internationally important species.
The state of Scotland’s environment report describes the condition of our environment and how it is changing. It discusses the main pressures affecting the environment and outlines some of the things that are being done to look after it.