Public engagement

Meeting Scotland’s ambitious climate targets will require a truly national endeavour. Moving toward a net zero society will require all aspects of Scottish society to embrace significant changes.

Our website – Net Zero Nation – aims to help everyone in Scotland to understand the global climate emergency and how they can play their part in helping Scotland transition to a net zero and climate ready nation. It is a ‘one stop shop’ for individuals, communities and organisations looking for information about what they can do to tackle the climate emergency.

Public engagement strategy

In September 2021, we published Net Zero Nation: A Public Engagement Strategy for Climate Change - our framework for engaging the public and communities on climate change. The strategy marks a new chapter in our people-centred approach to climate change policy. 

It signifies a step change in how we understand the role of public engagement in climate change, moving from encouraging incremental changes in attitudes and behaviours, to supporting a society-wide transformation. It also includes a commitment to meaningful participation, including with those people and communities most affected by our transition. By working in partnership across business, third sectors and communities, as part of a national effort, we can achieve the just and fair transition required to achieve a net zero nation.  

Climate Policy Engagement Network

In January 2023, we launched the Climate Policy Engagement Network, delivering on our Open Government commitment to establish a stakeholder network to support participation and engagement requirements across key milestones for climate change policy. The Open Government Partnership supports our commitment to openness, transparency, and citizen participation across everything we do as a government.

The network provides an opportunity for stakeholders to influence climate change policy.

It aims to:

  • widen the existing pool of stakeholders regularly engaged
  • complement and streamline consultative processes
  • improve public engagement and participation on key climate change policy milestones, such as the Climate Change Plan, Just Transition Plans, and Adaptation Programme

These policies are central to achieving Scotland’s net zero ambitions.

The network is hosted on an online platform and will run at least until 2026. The network is primarily for Scotland-based organisations interested in representing their views, or the views of their members/audiences, in relation to climate change policy.

If you would like to be involved in the network, or for further information, please email

Scotland’s Climate Week

Climate Week aims to raise awareness of climate change and to encourage us all to consider the actions required from all of society in order to achieve net zero. It has grown in scale since its inception in 2016 reflecting an increasing interest among the Scottish people to engage and make meaningful change. Organisations from every sector of society come together to showcase the actions they're taking to combat the global climate emergency and promote cross-sectoral collaboration.

Scotland’s Climate Week has proved successful with a large number of businesses, schools and universities taking part alongside the public sector to celebrate climate action and help drive awareness of climate change. We are grateful to everyone for their efforts to support past Climate Weeks, helping to raise awareness about climate change across Scottish society.

For further information on our policies please email


In November 2021, during COP26, we published a climate conversations pack on our Net Zero Nation website. Acknowledging that climate change can be a difficult topic to talk about, the pack provides the necessary information for individuals to start a conversation with their friends, family or colleagues.    

From July to the end of November of 2019, we engaged directly with the people of Scotland through the Big Climate Conversation to hear their concerns, priorities and ambition on how we respond to the global climate emergency. The final report of findings from the Big Climate Conversation was published alongside a companion technical annex

Moving toward becoming a net zero nation will require all aspects of Scottish society to embrace significant changes in how we live, work and travel, all within the next few decades. Our focus is on influencing behaviours and lifestyles at the individual, household, community and national levels by creating and shaping the conditions which will enable people to make behaviour and lifestyle changes and allow everyone to meet their needs both individually and collectively.

Behaviours are interlinked and context-dependent, and takes account of all of the factors that shape people’s lifestyles – the social, material, and individual.

We created the Individual, Social and Material (ISM) tool in 2013 to help key policy areas, local authorities, environmental organisations and communities to develop initiatives for influencing low carbon behaviours. It enables us to measure progress by identifying relevant factors and looking at how they change over time.

We have produced:

We are working to further embed the use of the ISM Tool throughout the policymaking process and ensuring that behavioural science is considered throughout.

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