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.
In line with advice from the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) on 2 May 2019, we acted immediately by lodging amendments to the Bill to set a target date of 2045 for reaching net-zero emissions. The amendments to the Bill also raised the ambition of the 2030 and 2040 targets to 70% and 90% emissions reductions respectively. The Scottish Parliament’s Environment Committee voted in favour of these targets at Stage 2 on 18 June 2019.
The CCC’s advice is that Scotland can now achieve such a target, provided that UK-wide ambition is also increased - to net-zero by 2050 - and action is taken in reserved policy areas.
If agreed by Parliament, Scotland will have the most stringent statutory targets in the world and our contribution to climate change will end, definitively, within a generation. You can find out more about Scotland’s climate change ambition at climate.scot.
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.
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. We responded to the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee’s Stage 1 report on the Bill on 1 April 2019 and 15 May 2019.
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
- in May 2019, in a joint report for the Scottish, UK and Welsh governments
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 2017
- the Climate Change Bill consultation summary report, which was prepared by an independent contractor and published on 18 December 2017
- 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.