Climate change adaptation programme: progress report 2022

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

3. Next steps

3.1 Response to the CCC's first independent assessment of SCCAP2 and advice on just transition

The Scottish Government welcomes independent scrutiny of our response to the global climate emergency and was pleased to receive the CCC's first independent assessment of the SCCAP2 programme and accompanying advice on the just transition and climate change adaptation in March 2022.

The Scottish Government agrees with the CCC's clearly expressed views on the need for a focus on the delivery of climate change adaptation actions, and for improved evidence. In particular, we accept the CCC's recommendations to:

Operationalise a Monitoring and Evaluation framework for adaptation

We will now progress further development work to set out a monitoring framework for our adaptation actions. This will include developing a clearer framework to link current activities to adaptation outcomes, with indicators, targets and milestones where appropriate. We expect to provide a substantive update in next year's annual progress report to Parliament.

Undertake analysis of public sector action on adaptation

We have undertaken an initial analysis of the information on climate risks across the public sector reported in November 2021 under the public bodies climate change reporting duty. This was published by the Sustainable Scotland Network in May 2022. Scottish Government is also undertaking internal work to take stock of the current position on public sector adaptation action and inform our response to the updated CCRA (see below).

Ensuring adaptation is fully integrated into Just Transition planning

The Scottish Government welcomes the CCC's six principles to support the development of just climate adaptation policies.

These principles highlight points in the policy design and implementation cycle where it is particularly important to consider distributional impacts for climate change adaptation. We will adopt the CCC's principles in the development of Scotland's Just Transition Plans, starting with the Energy Strategy Just Transition Plan later this year, as well as the next statutory climate adaptation programme. In particular, sectoral Just Transition Plans will include consideration – where appropriate – of the CCC's highest priority CCRA risk areas.

To support this, we will publish research mapping vulnerability to 3 key climate risks (heat, air quality, and flooding) against social vulnerability to ascertain which social and geographical factors make a person more susceptible to the adverse effects of climate change. These findings will help shape our engagement work and inform our incorporation of adaptation into just transition planning.

We will also invite Scotland's independent Just Transition Commission to include adaptation within its work, and to specifically consider how the CCC's advice on developing just climate adaptation policies can be further integrated into its future work.

The Adaptation Scotland programme will continue to support expanded community engagement via its locally led adaptation action. Building on learning from recent locality projects, Adaptation Scotland will work closely with community development partners during 2022-23 to develop their capacity to support locally led adaptation in line with climate justice principles and to network initiatives together.

Finally, we will also look for wider opportunities to align approaches to adaptation and mitigation as we develop the next statutory Climate Change Plan (a draft version of which is expected in Autumn 2023) alongside the next Climate Change Adaptation Programme (expected by Autumn 2024). Examples of synergies include the vital role of nature-based solutions in supporting both aspects of climate action, as well as biodiversity and wider outcomes. The application of a just transition lens to both planning processes, supported by the CCC's principles, will assist in maximising alignment.

Other CCC recommendations

All other recommendations from the CCC's first independent assessment of SCCAP2, including on sector-specific policy matters, are under active review and will inform the Scottish Government's wider approach to responding to the updated CCRA as set out below.

3.2 Responding to CCRA3

Alongside continuing to deliver SCCAP2, the Scottish Government is now beginning the process of co-developing Scotland's next statutory climate change adaptation programme in response to the updated assessment of the climate risks facing Scotland set out in CCRA3.

The next statutory programme, which will respond to the 61 risk areas identified in the CCRA, is expected to be published in 2024. The recent Scotland-specific advice from the CCC, along with the findings of the National Climate Resilience Summit, Scotland's Just Transition Commission and Climate Assembly, will all help to shape the development of the programme.

We are also exploring options for an early response in the highest priority risk areas identified by the CCC.

The following chapters of this annual progress report provide examples of progress – since the time of the last report in May 2021 – in implementing policies and proposals that contribute towards each of the SCCAP2 outcomes.



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