Climate Change Bill
We introduced a new Climate Change Bill to Parliament on 23 May 2018. The Bill amends the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 and will immediately increase the 2050 target to 90% by 2050, which the UK Committee on Climate Change (CCC) states this is currently "at the limit of feasibility."
Setting a 90% reduction target for all greenhouse gases means net-zero emissions of carbon dioxide by 2050 – in other words, Scotland will be carbon neutral.
The Bill demonstrates our ambition to go further and achieve a 100% reduction in all greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible. You can find out more about what a 90% target and a net-zero target could mean for Scotland at climate.scot.
Ministers will be legally required to seek expert advice on the earliest achievable date for a net-zero target at least every five years. The target date will be made legally binding, subject to the consent of the Scottish Parliament, as soon as there is sufficient evidence to demonstrate that the date is credible and achievable.
The Bill also includes a number of technical amendments designed to improve the transparency of the targets and functioning of the Act. This is explained in more detail in the Policy Memorandum that accompanies the Bill.
We responded to the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee’s Stage 1 report on the Bill on 1 April 2019.
You can find more information about the passage of the Bill through Parliament, and read the Bill and the accompanying documents, on the Scottish Parliament website.
Independent expert advice and public consultation
The UK Committee on Climate Change has provided advice for the Bill:
- in March 2017, in a report Advice on the new Scottish Climate Change Bill
- in December 2017, in a letter to the Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform with further advice
The consultation on the Bill comprised three phases. The first phase was an Opening Dialogue event on 19 April 2017, for key stakeholders, at which the CCC provided a presentation on their advice for the Bill, and stakeholders shared their views. This fed into the production of a consultation paper and associated impact assessments.
The second phase included:
- a Climate Change Bill consultation which ran from 30 June to 22 September
- the Climate Change Bill consultation summary report, which was prepared by an independent contractor and published on 18 December
- two business breakfasts hosted by Scotland's 2020 Climate Group
- six community events held by Scottish Communities Climate Action Network
- an event with stakeholders on technical aspects of the consultation paper
The third and final phase of the consultation was a climate change technical discussion group, which met five times between October 2017 and February 2018 to consider the technical elements of the Climate Change Bill relating to transparency of the targets and functioning of the Act. A stakeholder event was held on 16 January 2018 to discuss the updated advice on the Bill from the Committee on Climate Change.
You can access all the documents associated with the written consultation including interim impact assessments, on the Climate Change Bill consultation. Our response to the consultation can be found in the 'We Asked, You Said, We Did' section of the consultation page.