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Low Carbon Scotland: Meeting our Emissions Reduction Targets 2013-2027 - The Draft Second Report on Proposals and Policies

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10. Monitoring impacts and progress

10.1 Scottish Government's Low Carbon Management System

10.1.1 Since the publication of RPP1, we have continued to develop our monitoring mechanisms to track progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions across the main sectors in the Scottish Government.

10.1.2 Our Low Carbon Management System is centred on the work of the Emissions Reduction Programme Board. [206] It is the responsibility of the Board to monitor progress in the areas where significant emission reductions are expected and to provide a challenge function if delivery is not as expected. The Board meets quarterly and is chaired by the Director General for Enterprise, Environment and Digital. Its members are the Directors in the Scottish Government responsible for the key sectors where emission reductions are planned and expected.

10.1.3 To support the work of the Board's members, each Director is responsible for maintaining a report of emission reduction activities in their sector. During the development phase these documents were referred to as 'scorecards'. Their formal title now is Carbon Reduction Activity Reports.[207]

10.2 Independent assessments

10.2.1 Since the RPP1 was published, a number of independent progress/review reports have been published. In December 2011, Audit Scotland published a review report on Scottish Government's progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.[208]

10.2.2 In January 2012, the Committee on Climate Change published its first progress report on action by the Scottish Government in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.[209]

10.2.3 One of the recommendations to the Scottish Government in the Audit Scotland report was to provide greater transparency in its Low Carbon Management System. We have acted on this recommendation in two ways:

  • To introduce greater scrutiny and challenge to the Board, we extended its membership in March 2012 to include a Non-Executive Member, James Curran, Chief Executive for the Scottish Environment Protection Agency. This external advisory function is being further developed and an additional Non-Executive Member has accepted an invitation to join the Board in 2013.
  • In May 2012 we published a new web page[210] for the Emissions Reduction Programme Board within our climate change web pages. This site contains details of the Board's meeting agendas, its meeting notes and the Carbon Activity Reduction Reports which are updated on an on-going basis.

10.2.4 In 2013 individual programmes of work will be identified for the Directors of the Board based on the policies and proposals published in the final RPP2. The Directors will be expected to report to the Board on the delivery of these activities through a new system of Check Point Reports and Exception Reports.

10.2.5 We plan to increase the scope of the Board to include a new governance and reporting role for the Scottish Climate Change Adaptation Programme, which is currently being developed. When this happens the Board is expected to change its name and expand its membership.

10.3 Draft and final reports

10.3.1 This document is a draft of the second report on proposals and policies for meeting annual targets that the Scottish Ministers must lay before the Scottish Parliament in accordance with the requirements in section 35 of the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009. The Act requires that the final version of this report be laid following a 60-day period for Parliamentary consideration.

10.3.2 Before laying the final RPP2, Ministers must have regard to any representations on the draft report, any resolution on the draft passed by the Scottish Parliament, and any report on the draft published by any Committees of the Parliament. After the 60-day period has ended, Ministers will lay the final version before Parliament along with a statement setting out details of any representations etc. made to them in respect of the draft and detailing any changes that have been made in response.

10.4 Strategic environmental assessment

10.4.1 The Environmental Assessment (Scotland) Act 2005 sets out statutory requirements for the preparation and publication of Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEA) by public bodies. The purpose of SEA is to ensure that the likely significant environmental effects of Scottish plans, programmes and strategies are assessed and taken into account during their preparation.

10.4.2 The Environmental Report is the key medium for outlining the outputs of the Strategic Environmental Assessment process. The Environmental Report on the proposals and policies set out in the draft RPP2 details the results of the environmental assessment of these measures, identifying and evaluating the likely significant environmental effects of implementing them, as well as identifying the means to prevent or avoid significant adverse effects and enhance positive ones, while also considering reasonable alternatives where appropriate.

10.4.3 The Environmental Report has been published and is available for comment during the 60-day period for Parliamentary consideration of the draft RPP2 detailed above.

10.4.4 The last output of the SEA process is the preparation and publication of an SEA Statement that sets out how the findings of the SEA have been considered, and how views expressed during the consultation period were taken into account.

10.4.5 More information about the SEA of the proposals and policies set out in this draft report, including details of the consultation on the Environmental Report, is available on the Scottish Government's website at the following address: www.scotland.gov.uk/climatechange .