Climate change adaptation programme: progress report 2022

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

4. Progress toward "our communities are inclusive, empowered, resilient and safe in response to the changing climate"

SCCAP2 Outcome 1:Our communities are inclusive, empowered, resilient and safe in response to the changing climate

This outcome has two sub-outcomes covering the social aspects of community (such as empowerment, engagement and adaptability) and the physical aspects of community (including the built and historic environment). Aspects related to vulnerable people within communities are addressed under Outcome 2.

Examples of progress on cross-cutting policies in support of this outcome

Capacity-building and support through the Adaptation Scotland programme – The Scottish Government-funded Adaptation Scotland programme is supporting adaptation across cities, regions, islands and localities. The programme works with local partners to integrate adaptation in to place based change processes and equip partners, helping to unlock resources and support for long term change. A diverse range of projects are supported. For example, work is under way with partners in the Outer Hebrides to support locally-led adaptation. This includes completing a pilot project in North Uist to identify local climate impacts and a project with the Lan Thide Outer Hebrides Climate Beacon and the Met Office to develop a storyline to communicate projected changes in winter storms. The programme also works at a strategic level across regions including bringing the Climate Ready Clyde and Highland Adapts initiatives together to share learning and support development of leadership and governance across both regions.

Fourth National Planning Framework - The draft of the fourth National Planning Framework (NPF4) was laid in Parliament in November 2021 for parliamentary scrutiny, alongside a public consultation. Consultation on the draft NPF4 closed 31 March. We are considering all responses to the consultation and will lay a finalised NPF4 for approval by the Scottish Parliament before it is adopted by Ministers. Draft NPF4 sets out how our approach to planning and development will help achieve a net zero, sustainable Scotland by 2045.

  • The approach ensures we adapt to future climate impacts by addressing a range of factors including: flood risk, infrastructure resilience, temperature change, coastal vulnerability, access to drinking water, active and sustainable travel, and electric vehicle infrastructure.
  • It also addresses nature recovery and expanding blue green infrastructure to build resilience and improve our health and quality of life.
  • Its universal policies facilitate development proposals for new and existing buildings, infrastructure and spaces, to be designed to be adaptable to future climate change impacts and respond to the climate emergency and nature crises.
  • It has clear emphasis on the Place Principle with a collaborative place based approach involving working with stakeholders and communities to create liveable, healthier and sustainable places that improve lives and contribute to environmental ambitions.

Once adopted NPF4 will form part of the statutory development plan and will be a material planning consideration, requiring the policies and priorities set out in NPF4 to be taken into account in planning decisions. As well as considering the current SCCAP, preparation of NPF4 has considered information from a range of sources including the Climate Change Committee, Climate Assembly, Land Use Strategy, Climate Change Plan update and responses to early engagement. There have also been two rounds of formal consultation plus the recommendations of the Scottish Parliament.

Examples of progress on policies in support of sub-outcome that: "People in Scotland's diverse communities are informed, empowered and adapting to climate change"

The Place Principle – The new website to support the Place Principle was launched in January 2022. Aimed at communities as well as statutory, business and third sector organisations, it includes content, case studies and guidance to support place-based approaches, including to adaptation. The website will also host the new version of the Place Standard tool, and once piloting is complete, the "Place Standard with a climate lens toolkit" and supporting materials (see below).

The Place Standard – The improved version of the Place Standard tool (PST2.0) incorporates enhanced content to strengthen the contribution towards engaging communities and stakeholders around climate change at a local level. Once finalised it will be hosted on the new website alongside guidance and resources to support its use. Following two rounds of piloting in real life situations, the project to create a "PST2.0 with a climate lens" toolkit to support projects with a specific climate-action focus to take a place-based, collaborative, and community-led approach nears completion. The final version of the new toolkit and supporting materials - created in partnership with Sniffer, Adaptation Scotland, Sustainable Scotland Network, and others – will be available in early summer 2022 on

Community Flood Volunteer Project - We continue to support citizen science through grant funding for The Conservation Volunteers Scotland. Through community led citizen science flood monitoring projects important long term data is gathered for the councils. We continue to work with councils to extend the projects to new communities. This helps raise awareness of flood risk and the wider climate change agenda at a local level.

RiverTrack - is a local flood alerting tool that can used by communities without a formal SEPA flood warning scheme. Working with the Scottish Flood Forum and SEPA we are encouraging more communities to consider the Rivertrack system which can alert home and business owners to take action prior to a flood event. This includes deploying flood guards and moving possessions upstairs which helps to reduce flood damage.

Fire and Rescue Framework - The Fire and Rescue Framework for Scotland 2022 was published in March 2022 and it sets out Scottish Ministers' expectations of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS). The Framework builds upon the strength of the 2016 Framework, recognising the impact that both Covid and the climate emergency are having upon the Service. Climate change is identified as one of the Frameworks seven strategic priorities, which asks SFRS to ensure they continue "working to ensure Scotland's communities are resilient and safe in response to the changing climate", especially in the context of increased flooding, wildfires and their associated risks.

Examples of progress on policies in support of sub-outcome that: "Scotland's buildings and places are adaptable to climate change"

Additional investment in flood risk management - In addition to providing local authorities with £42 million annually for flood protection schemes, the Scottish Government 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 tranche of enhanced spending on flood risk management has been allocated through the 2021-22 Scottish budget.

Flood Risk Management Plan - SEPA published the second Flood Risk Management Plans (formally called Strategies) in December 2021. The plans set out flood risk management actions for priority areas across Scotland, taking into account future flood risk information. The plans were developed in partnership with local authorities and other responsible authorities. A public consultation was held on the plans with more than double the number of responses than received for the 2015 FRM Strategy consultation. A summary of the alterations made due to the consultation was included in the final publication.

SEPA Flood Maps - SEPA's flood maps continue to undergo regular update and improvement. The public-focussed flood risk management map viewer launched in November 2020 continues to improve access to flood risk information. In June 2021, the multi-year contract to support the update of national surface water flood maps was awarded. This wholesale development will reflect updates in rainfall data, developments in mapping and the most up-to-date climate information (UKCP18).

Coastal Flood Maps - SEPA are also progressing with updating coastal flood maps. This includes taking account of wave action where appropriate / feasible. Contracts for Northeast Scotland (Scabster to Montrose) and Orkney finished in December 2021, and Outer Hebrides finished in March 2022. The outputs of which will inform SEPAs national maps when they are updated in summer 2023. Scoping for the next regional coastal flood map improvement contracts (Montrose to Berwick) is underway along with developing an understanding of the underlying data needed to support further improvements nationally.

Water Resilient Places Policy Framework - The Scottish Government is working with Scottish Water, SEPA and local authorities to embed the principles of the Water Resilient Places Policy Framework published in February 2021. This focuses on how we can optimise the use of our greenspace in our towns and cities to bring multiple benefits to communities, including managing surface water flooding. The Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 also introduced a new duty on planning authorities to prepare an open space strategy that sets out a strategic framework of the planning authority's policies and proposals as the development, maintenance and use of green infrastructure in their district, including open spaces and green networks. A public consultation on the draft Regulations, to support the implementation of the new duties, closed at the end of March 2022. We are working on finalising the Regulations and subject to the final adoption of NPF4, we are intending to lay the final Regulations for approval by Parliament this year.

Property Flood Resilience - We continue to work with a range of stakeholders on the Property Flood Resilience Delivery Group to deliver the Living with Flooding action plan. We also continue to raise awareness of the Construction Industry Research and Information Association (CIRIA) Code of Practice for property flood resilience – a revised Code and short guide for property owners to help them make flood resilient repairs after a flood was published in January 2021. Flood resilient repair can lessen flood damage, reducing the time spent in temporary accommodation and the health impacts of a flood.

Heat in Buildings Programme (previously Energy Efficient Scotland) – The Scottish Government published its Heat in Buildings Strategy in October 2021 which updates the 2018 Energy Efficient Scotland Route Map. The Strategy sets out that the Scottish Government is taking a fabric first approach, prioritising the installation of energy efficiency upgrades in Scottish buildings in order to make them warmer, greener and more energy efficient. Energy efficiency measures, such as external wall insulation, and passive measures, such as ventilation and shading, can improve the resilience of Scotland's buildings to the increased adverse weather projected as a result of climate change which might cause increased demand for both heating and cooling, as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Advice and support under the Heat in Buildings Programme - The Scottish Government continues to provide support, including grants and low costs loans, to property owners to help them retrofit their properties to make them more energy efficient and convert to zero emission heating. Home Energy Scotland and the Energy Efficiency Business Advice Service (changing to Business Energy Scotland in 1 April 2022) continue to offer impartial advice on energy retrofit and energy saving measures. Additional funding is also available through the CARES programme to support some of Scotland's most remote and rural off-grid communities to upgrade their energy systems making them more resilient and sustainable for the future.

Building regulations and standards - Public consultation on improvement to energy and environmental standards (as set through building regulations) took place between July and November 2021. The Scottish Government's review programme sets out plans for the publication of revised standards for April 2022 and their application to new development from October 2022. Changes to be implemented include the proposal for the assessment and mitigation of overheating risk in new homes and other properties.

The Place Standard – A "Design Version" of the Place Standard, currently available for piloting via the website, has been created specifically to support design & delivery processes – e.g. aimed at development commissioners, architects, spatial planners. As with the core tool (see above), this integrates prompts around climate adaptation and mitigation wherever appropriate.

Historic Environment Scotland (HES) Climate Change and Environmental Action Plan – While the Covid-19 pandemic has significantly impacted delivery of the Climate Action Plan during 2021-22, a major milestone was the publication of Towards a Climate Ready HES: Adaptation Plan. This adaptation plan sets out our response to a series of climate risks that we have identified that each have the potential to negatively impact our organisation. Funding from the Royal Society of Edinburgh enabled the continued roll-out of the application of the Climate Vulnerability Index methodology across Scottish World Heritage Sites during the Covid-19 pandemic, with workshops for the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh and Frontiers of the Roman Empire: Antonine Wall.

How the Adaptation Scotland programme is supporting this outcome:

Alongside the place-based capability and support activity described above, Adaptation Scotland establishes collaborations that enable Scotland to benefit from leading edge science and research. This includes a collaboration with the Tyndall Centre for Climate Research to create climate risk assessment specifications for Edinburgh and South East Scotland and the Highlands. The work draws on the OpenCLIM project which is developing an open-source integrated assessment framework for climate impacts and adaptation. This has the potential to provide valuable risk assessment data for multiple scales across Scotland, enabling a consistent approach and avoiding duplication of effort.

Adaptation Scotland is supporting the inclusion of adaptation across a range of policy and guidance relevant to these outcomes. This includes contributing to the development of draft National Planning Framework 4 and work with Scottish Government, SEPA and local authorities to develop coastal change adaptation planning guidance and adaptation guidance for flood risk managers. The programme has also worked closely with Historic Environment Scotland to develop an organisation wide climate risk assessment and to create the Climate Ready HES Adaptation Plan discussed above. Learning from this work is being used by Adaptation Scotland to support other major organisations to adapt.



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