Ministers today set out an urgent programme of action to improve quality of life, protect natural resources and reduce Scotland's impact on the global environment.

Choosing Our Future: Scotland's Sustainable Development Strategy estimates that the area of land and sea needed to provide all the resources currently consumed in Scotland - the country's ecological footprint - is 2.4 times the global average.

At Echline Primary School in South Queensferry Environment Minister Ross Finnie said: "We are determined that Scotland learns how best to make choices for the long-term, so that the choices we make today do not deny future generations the same right.

"Current levels of consumption, if replicated across the world, would require another two planets to sustain us.

"This Strategy sets out actions for government, business and consumers to reduce our 'footprint', protect our natural heritage and improve the quality of life for individuals and communities across Scotland."

Deputy First Minister Nicol Stephen said: "Business has a crucial role in helping Scotland to make the transition to a low carbon economy.

"We have to become a lot more energy efficient and there is no coincidence that we are today setting out how we intend to implement the energy performance of buildings directive. "We have enormous potential to develop renewable energy resources and we want to see Scottish business leading the shift to clean and lean technologies to open new market opportunities."

Deputy Environment Minister Rhona Brankin said: "This is a strategy for well being. A better environment is a healthier environment. We want to see a Scotland where everyone, whether in urban or rural communities, has access to clean and safe places to enjoy the things that make Scotland special - to parks, the countryside, woodlands, hills and lochs, greenspaces - places to stretch our legs, our lungs, and our spirits."