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Why the new NPF4 can deliver Scotland’s environmental ambitions

Our former CEO Derek Robertson on the implications of Scotland’s newly adopted National Planning Framework (NPF4).


Blog, Partnerships, Solutions


14 February 2023

This week, the fourth National Planning Framework (NPF4) has come into play, embedding the climate and nature emergencies across planning policy and placing a stronger emphasis than ever before on the tangible actions that can address these twin crises.

In this piece, our former CEO Derek Robertson shared his thoughts on the implications of the new framework and the role of the Central Scotland Green Network within it.

As a National Development within NPF4, the Central Scotland Green Network (CSGN) is a key example of how actions on climate and nature can be delivered in order to reach the government’s ambitious targets to reduce decline in Scotland’s biodiversity, and to achieve net zero emissions. For the Green Action Trust – as the delivery partner responsible for driving forward the CSGN – the implementation of NPF4 is a cornerstone moment in Scotland’s national mission towards these targets.

The Central Scotland Green Network is steered by a partnership group of over 15 environmental NGOs and agencies, meaning that it is uniquely placed to draw on vast expertise as it delivers natural climate solutions, creates liveable places, promotes health and wellbeing, and supports a green recovery across Central Scotland.

Indeed, having been established as a National Development since the implementation of NPF2 in 2009, these priorities have been central to the work of the CSGN for over a decade. Its work spans across 19 of Scotland’s 32 local authority areas, covering 87% of Scotland’s most disadvantaged areas, and tackles environmental inequality where it is needed most. This places it among the largest environmental projects of its kind in Europe,  improving the social, physical and cultural wellbeing of central Scotland, all through the lens of environmental restoration.


Derek Robertson was formerly Chief Executive of the Green Action Trust, which is responsible for delivering the Central Scotland Green Network.

If you would like to find out more about our work to deliver the ambitions of the Central Scotland Green Network, please contact us.