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New Climate Change Plan

The Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 requires that, as soon as reasonably practicable after setting annual targets, Ministers publish a report setting out policies and proposals for meeting those targets. On 19 January 2017 we published a draft report that underwent a period of Parliamentary scrutiny and representation from other stakeholders, and on 28 February 2018 we published the final version, the Climate Change Plan, setting out how we intend to meet the emission reduction targets in the period 2018-2032.

What is the Climate Change Plan?  

The Climate Change Plan sits alongside the Scottish Government’s Energy Strategy, and provides the strategic framework for our transition to a low carbon Scotland. Building on previous reports on policies and proposals, the Plan sets out the path to a low carbon economy while helping to deliver sustainable economic growth and secure the wider benefits to a greener, fairer and healthier Scotland in 2032.

The Plan includes policies and proposals to reduce emissions from electricity generation, buildings (both residential and non-residential), transport, industry, land use (forestry and peatlands), waste, and agriculture.

Developing the Climate Change Plan

The Cabinet Sub-Committee on Climate Change and the Cabinet were responsible for final decisions on the pathway to delivering our 2032 target. Decision making was supported by a Scottish Government Programme Board that worked collectively, along with teams of officials and analysts, to consider options for achieving emissions reductions.

The development of the Plan drew significantly on the energy modelling system TIMES, which was used to build scenarios for meeting Scotland’s climate change targets.  As well as the TIMES model, our approach to developing policies and proposals built on existing evidence, experience of how emissions reduction measures have worked in practice, and advice from the independent Committee on Climate Change. A Technical Annex containing detail on the TIMES model and its contribution to the development of the emissions reduction pathway has been published alongside the Plan.

Information has been provided to the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee on how we developed the Plan, behaviours and the ISM model, Climate Conversations, and the TIMES model. This can be viewed on their Climate Change Plan pages.

The Wider Impacts of Climate Change Policies

Alongside the draft Climate Change Plan, the Scottish Government published three independent evidence reviews of the potential wider impacts of climate change mitigation options, focusing on Agriculture, Forestry, Waste and related Land Use; the Built Environment; and Transport.  The reviews highlighted the potential for positive social, economic and environmental impacts to result from the draft Plan.

Scrutiny and consultation

Scrutiny of the draft Climate Change Plan was led by the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee.  The Committee agreed its approach to scrutiny at a meeting on 20 September 2016, and subsequently wrote to the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee, the Local Government and Communities Committee and the Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Committee to agree a collaborative approach.

After taking written and oral evidence from a range of stakeholders, the Committees published their scrutiny reports on 10 March 2017.  A debate on these reports was held on 16 March 2017. Ministers have taken full consideration of these reports when finalising the Climate Change Plan and provided their response to Committee recommendations in the Written Statement on the Third Report of Proposals and Policies, which was laid in the Scottish Parliament on 28 February 2018.

Improving and finalising the Climate Change Plan

Following publication of the draft Climate Change Plan in January 2017, and subsequent Parliamentary scrutiny of policies and proposals along with consultation with other stakeholders, the Scottish Government has now published the final Plan.  As part of this process, we considered recommendations provided by the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee, the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee, the Local Government and Communities Committee and the Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Committee.  In addition, the Scottish Government set up an Advisory Group who acted as a critical friend as the plan was finalised.  The Advisory Group helped to us identify any emerging issues of relevance across the Plan and advise on external engagement process.  Agenda, minutes and outcomes of those meetings can be viewed below.

First Meeting - 20 June 2017

Strategic Environmental Assessment

The Climate Change Plan has been influenced by a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), carried out in accordance with the Environmental Assessment (Scotland) Act 2005. The purpose of SEA is to minimise potential negative effects of plans and strategies on the environment and to enhance positive effects.  All documents associated with the SEA process for the Climate Change Plan are available on the Scottish Government’s SEA database.

Transitioning to a Low Carbon Economy; Challenges and Opportunities for Businesses

The Scottish Government commissioned Ernst & Young to undertake a study to evaluate the implications of climate change and the impact on Scottish businesses from Government policies and proposals to reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions.

The study presentation and accompanying report set out the impact of the low carbon transition on Scottish businesses, and highlights the challenges and opportunities that will face Scottish business as a result of climate change and the action required to reduce it in the 2020s and 2030s.  It identifies the challenges which need to be overcome for business, as well as the opportunities that a potentially disruptive change of this nature brings.  These business impacts are illustrated with case studies of how different types of businesses have already successfully responded to climate change action.

Previous reports on policies and proposals

In June 2013, the Scottish Government published Low Carbon Scotland: Meeting our Emissions Reduction Targets 2013-2027: The Second Report on Proposals and Policies (RPP2).