Climate change adaptation programme: progress report 2022

Third annual progress report on "Climate Ready Scotland: Scotland’s Climate Change Adaptation Programme 2019 to 2024".

2. Scottish Ministers' assessment of progress towards implementing the objectives, proposals and policies set out in SCCAP2

The overall assessment of Scottish Ministers is that whilst progress continues to be made in implementing SCCAP2, it is also clear that still more needs to be done to build resilience in Scotland as part of our just climate transition.

The scale and urgency of this challenge has been highlighted by several key reports and developments since the time of the last progress report in May 2021. In particular, the CCC's updated independent assessment of UK climate risks through the CCRA, which the Scottish Government has accepted in full. At an international scale, by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Working Group II's report on Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability.[2] And most recently, by the CCC's independent assessment of the SCCAP2 programme itself. All of these reports are pointing to the same conclusion, that action on adaptation is not yet keeping pace with the worsening impacts. This is a shared global challenge, which applies here in Scotland too.

It is also important to keep sight of the range of actions already happening across the economy and society to adapt and build resilience. Chapters 4 – 10 of this report provides examples of progress towards the SCCAP2 policies across the seven high-level outcomes since May 2021, which include:

  • In addition to providing local authorities with £42 million annually for flood protection schemes, we have committed to invest an extra £150 million in flood risk management over this Parliament – representing a 70% increase in the flooding budget. The first tranches of enhanced spending on flood risk management has been allocated through the 2021-22 Scottish budget.
  • The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) published updated flood risk management plans in January 2022, which will be supplemented by local authorities' local flood risk management plans due to be published later this year. The local plans will include a description of how the measures to reduce flood risk, identified in the relevant plan, are to be implemented.
  • The second phase of the Dynamic Coast project was launched in August 2021, providing powerful new insights to support local planning on coastal adaptation. Guidance for local authorities on preparation of coastal change adaptation plans is underway and a group to advise Scottish Government on the distribution of national funds to local authorities for coastal adaptation measures has been set up; allocations for 2022-23 and 2023-24 have been agreed with COSLA.
  • To manage climate risks to Scotland's biodiversity, we are continuing to invest £250 million over 10 years on peatland restoration, which supports the co-benefits of carbon sequestration and improved natural flood management.
  • In November 2021 we announced a new £55 million multi-year commitment to the Nature Restoration Fund bringing the total to £65 million over this Parliament. We have committed to introduce a new Natural Environment Bill which will include targets for nature recovery and halting further declines by 2030.

Another key development during 2021 was the COP26 international climate negotiations in Glasgow. This resulted in a package of global outcomes on mitigation, adaptation, finance and loss and damage, with progress in some key areas and the groundwork for further ambition in others.

The Scottish Government believes that Parties to the UNFCCC and non-state actors must now build on the progress made in Glasgow, including by doubling adaptation finance by 2025.[3] At COP26 we announced the trebling of our own financial support for the world's poorest and more vulnerable communities in their efforts to tackle the impacts of climate change. The Climate Justice Fund will increase from 2022, providing £36 million across this Parliament. We are committed to ensuring that this fund not only supports communities in partner developing countries to become more resilient to climate change but does so in way that acknowledges and tackles embedded inequalities.

In advance of COP26, the Scottish Government hosted a National Climate Resilience Summit bringing together leadership from across the public, private and third sectors in Scotland to raise collective ambition on adaptation. On 1 October 2021, chief executives, directors and other senior leaders from 70 organisations participated, and more than 50 have endorsed (or committed to further considering) the Summit's climate resilience ambition statement in support of "collective action to transform Scotland into a climate resilient nation. As part of this journey, we:

1. support enhanced understanding and action on climate risk and look forward to collaborating across sectors;

2. will further embed climate adaptation in our culture, corporate governance and organisational priorities as an immediate priority and throughout 2022 and beyond; and

3. express our support for an ambitious global deal at COP26 which addresses adaptation and resilience needs in a fair and just way".

The Scottish Government now wants to build on the National Climate Resilience Summit, the Glasgow Climate Pact and existing efforts to adapt to climate change, including via Scotland's local and regional partnerships, in order to rise to the challenge set out by the updated CCRA, IPCC report and CCC independent assessment. Our approach to doing so is set out in the following section.



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