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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.  In January 2017 we published the third of these reports, the draft Climate Change Plan, setting out how we intend to meet the emission reduction targets in the period 2017-2032.  Following publication, the draft plan is subject to 60 days of Parliamentary scrutiny.

What is the Climate Change Plan?  

The Climate Change Plan, sits alongside the Scottish Government’s forthcoming new 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 draft Plan includes policies and proposals to reduce emissions from electricity generation, housing, transport, services, industry, forestry, peatlands, waste, and agriculture.

Developing the draft Climate Change Plan

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

The development of the draft 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.

Briefing has been provided to the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee on our approach to developing the Plan, behaviours and the ISM model, Climate Conversations, and the TIMES model.  The briefing can be viewed on their Climate Change Plan pages.

The Wider Impacts of Climate Change Policies

Alongside the draft Plan, the Scottish Government has 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 highlight the potential for positive social, economic and environmental impacts to result from the draft Plan.

Scrutiny and consultation

Scrutiny of the draft 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.  A debate on these reports was held on 16 March.  Ministers will take full consideration of these reports when finalising the Climate Change Plan in due course.

Strategic Environmental Assessment

The Scottish Government has undertaken a joint Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of the draft Climate Change Plan and draft Scottish Energy Strategy.  This assessment was undertaken in accordance with the Environmental Assessment (Scotland) Act 2005 to consider the likely significant environmental effects of the draft Plan and draft Strategy.  The Environmental Report setting out the findings of this assessment was also available for comment during the period of Parliamentary scrutiny.

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).

In March 2011, the Scottish Government published Low Carbon Scotland: Meeting the Emissions Reduction Targets 2010-2022.