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Action on Climate Change: Proposals for Improving the Energy Performance of Existing Non-domestic Buildings - A Consultation by the Scottish Government

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03 Relationship to the Scottish Government's Purpose

3.1 The Scottish Government's Purpose, as set out in our Economic Strategy, is to focus the Government and public services on creating a more successful country, with opportunities for all of Scotland to flourish, through increasing sustainable economic growth. By sustainable economic growth we mean building a dynamic and growing economy that will provide prosperity and opportunities for all, while ensuring that future generations can enjoy a better quality of life too.

3.2 Our commitment to reduce carbon emissions is consistent with this Purpose. The activity around the setting of emission reduction targets at EU, UK and Scottish levels, is not an end in itself but must be used as a spur to new economic activity in addition to its central purpose of addressing climate change. The Scottish Climate Change Bill will provide a long-term legal framework and certainty about the Government's commitments.

3.3 It is our intention to also publish a Strategic Overview which will set out our thinking on how our target of reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by 80% can be achieved. Improving the energy performance of existing buildings will be an important strand in this.

3.4 The Scottish Budget Spending Review makes a number of commitments in respect of climate change. These include a commitment to introduce a system of cross-compliance to ensure that spending decisions across Government assess the carbon impact of policy options during the appraisal process and ensuring that every refurbishment of a public building to which the government contributes financially, delivers high standards of environmental performance.

3.5 The Purpose is underpinned by a set of national outcomes which will be the focus for outcome agreements that will, in due course, cover all of the public sector in Scotland. These national outcomes include making Scotland the most attractive place for doing business in Europe while reducing the local and global environmental impact of our consumption and production.

3.6 In meeting these outcomes there are inevitably potential tensions and synergies that need to be considered and worked through. While the measures highlighted in this consultation are likely to have short-term cost implications for business and the public sector they also create potential opportunities in terms of reduced resource consumption and hence energy and materials costs leading to increased competitiveness. If introduced under these proposals, some measures may also assist larger commercial and public sector organisations in responding to the obligations they will face under the Carbon Reduction Commitment. 1 In terms of the economy more broadly, these measures may provide a boost to Scottish companies providing energy-related products and services and assist in growing the market for green technologies.

3.7 This consultation focuses on the overall principles of an assessment process for existing non-domestic buildings rather than on the detail of a fully worked out proposal. The business and public sectors will be consulted in the development of detailed proposals prior to any introduction and the Scottish Government will give due consideration to any advice and support that may be needed at that time.