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Changing Our Ways: Scotland's Climate Change Programme

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Annex A: The Review Process

The first Scottish and UK Climate Change Programmes, both published in November 2000, contained commitments to formal reviews in 2004. These reviews commenced in September 2004, with the publication of UK Terms of Reference. The Executive worked closely with the UK Government on the UK Programme review and conducted a separate review of the Scottish Programme to ensure Scottish circumstances and stakeholder views were addressed.

Purpose of the review

The main purpose of the review process was to:

  • evaluate the impact of key policies in the Scottish Climate Change Programme;
  • assess the contribution Scotland is making to UK climate change commitments;
  • explore opportunities for disaggregating UK greenhouse gas emissions projections for Scotland;
  • assess the practicalities of introducing Scottish climate change targets;
  • identify and evaluate options for continuing to assist the UK in moving towards its climate change commitments; and
  • set out how we intend to continue contributing to UK commitments.

Consultation and stakeholder engagement

The Executive launched a 12-week consultation on the review of the Scottish Climate Change Programme in December 2004. It provided an update on action taken since the original Programme was published, announced our commitment to develop an Energy Efficiency Strategy for Scotland and explore the feasibility of Scottish climate change targets, and sought views on how the Executive could strengthen its strategic response to climate change.

We were delighted with the quality and level of responses, with almost 400 received from a wide-range of organisations and members of public. A full analysis of responses is available on the Executive's website. 60

In order to ensure key stakeholders were kept informed of development during the review, a Scottish stakeholder group was established in early 2005 and met periodically during the review. Papers from the group's meetings are available on the Executive's website.

Parliamentary business

During the course of the review climate change was debated twice in the Scottish Parliament. The first debate, called by the Executive during the consultation period took place on 20 January 2005. The second one was called for by the ERDC to debate the outcome of its inquiry into climate change and took place on 21 September 2005. Both motions were agreed. The transcripts of these debates are available on the Scottish Parliament's website.

The ERDC climate change inquiry was launched in December 2004 and concluded with the publication of its inquiry report on 18 May 2005. This provided a valuable contribution to the debate on the scope for strengthening existing measures or introducing new ones and the Executive laid its formal response to the inquiry report before Parliament on 31 August 2005. The inquiry report and Executive response are available on the Parliament's website.

Policy impact assessments and GHG emissions projections

During the review, we evaluated the effectiveness of over 40 significant existing measures across devolved and reserved areas. The emissions impact of these measures in Scotland has been calculated in the majority of cases by disaggregating the Scottish impact from UK-wide policy evaluations by, in most cases, assuming a Scottish impact proportional to the relative population level. However, in areas where the Scottish situation is different from that of the UK, such as the land use change and forestry sector and energy efficiency, direct assessments were made. These assessments, which show that existing measures have resulted in emissions being significantly lower than they would otherwise have been, are outlined in Annex E.

We are also developing new Scottish emissions projections to 2020, disaggregated from UK projections, to forecast Scotland's emissions through to 2020. These will be available as part of the Energy Study later in 2006.

Scottish climate change targets

In response to the views of consultees and the recommendations of the ERDC, the Executive announced its commitment to establish Scottish climate change targets in devolved areas
on 30 June 2005. Following further analytical work, in which
a range of possible targets options were assessed, the environment Minister Ross Finnie announced a new framework approach for the development of Scottish climate change targets at a Climate Leaders' Summit in early December 2005. The new concept, called the Scottish Share, for the first time defines and quantifies Scotland's equitable contribution to UK efforts in devolved areas and provides a benchmark against which the ambitious Scottish Target has been set. We will continue to explore the feasibility of additional sector-level contributions to the overarching Scottish target.

Research

We commissioned a number of pieces of research in support of the objectives of the review, including a Policy Gap Analysis to ensure all options for reducing Scotland's greenhouse gas emissions had been identified and considered; a study to assess the feasibility of establishing a local authority-managed carbon trading scheme for new building developments; and an assessment of the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the Executive's activities to assist us in improving our monitoring and reporting regime. The findings of all of these research studies will be published on the Executive's website.

Informal Environmental Assessment

The revised Scottish programme was not legally bound by the Regulations implementing the Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive. However, we were keen to honour the spirit of the SEA Directive and embarked on an informal assessment, working with the Consultation Authorities ( SEPA, SNH and Historic Scotland) and environmental NGOs (Scottish Environment LINK). The report will be available soon and will make recommendations which will assist in the development of policies to tackle climate change which take account of their potential wider environmental impacts.