Climate change adaptation programme: progress report 2022

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

6. Progress towards "our inclusive and sustainable economy being flexible, adaptable and responsive to the changing climate"

SCCAP2 Outcome 3: Our inclusive and sustainable economy is flexible, adaptable and responsive to the changing climate

This outcome has three sub-outcomes. The first two sub-outcomes reflect the different challenges faced by Scotland's natural resource based businesses and the manufacturing, services, and other businesses. The final sub-outcome relates to the ability of businesses to harness the opportunities created as a result of climate change.

Examples of progress on policies in support of sub-outcome that "Scotland's businesses based on natural resources are informed and adaptable to climate change"

Farming For a Better Climate - The Farming for a Better Climate initiative continues to promote practical and cost effective climate change mitigation and adaptation measures to farmers and land managers, alongside findings from the Farming for a Better Climate Soil Regenerative Agriculture Group. The initiative's webpage now also holds links to the Integrating Tree Network and the Agriculture, Biodiversity and Climate Change Network. The farmer-led soil regenerative agriculture network continues to focus on positive actions that can be taken on Scottish farms to support, enhance and protect their soils, such as approaches to allow them to improve production whilst delivering wider benefits such as building soil resilience, improving water retention, storing carbon and enhancing biodiversity. While face to face events have been limited due to Covid-19, regular updates are added to the Farming for a Better Climate webpages and they have managed to host a number of farms visits during the last year. For COP26, the initiative ran a webpage which included farmer case studies and links to the farmer videos used in their #26days26ways campaign.

The Farm Advisory Service - A new contract, effective from April 2022, is providing continuity of the Farm Advisory Service that will connect the sector to expert consultants with the goal of keeping the industry up to date with current issues with nearly all the available support and advice entirely free to the consumer. We will be working with the relevant industry and organisations as we look to develop future agriculture policy to help shape the future longer term evolution of the service to ensure it keeps pace with key challenges to support farmers, land managers and crofters to deliver high quality food production, climate mitigation and adaptation, and nature restoration.

Soil and Nutrient Network – Soil health is at risk from changing climatic conditions, including seasonal aridity and wetness. Soil and Nutrient Network farms are taking a 'before and after' look at how to protect and improve farm soils and make the best use of both organic and inorganic fertilisers, saving money, benefitting yields and improving farm efficiency and resilience. Materials and events on this can be found through the Farm Advisory Service.

Integrating Trees Network (ITN) - This jointly facilitated project between Scottish Forestry and the Scottish Government, is a farmer-led demonstrator network of farms, crofts and estates, hosting events and promoting the benefits to landowners of new woodland creation. Planting trees can help land-based businesses to adapt by providing shelter for livestock, habitat for wildlife, diversification opportunities for future income, and a contribution to reducing flood risk. Twelve free events have been held since March 2021. These have been developed based on feedback from farmers and crofters to meet their needs. Additional events are in development for the rest of 2022. The ITN also links to useful resources for farmers interested in planting trees. Two host videos have been produced with four additional videos planned. It is hoped that on-site demonstration events will take place later in 2022.

Agroforestry in Action - Agroforestry combines trees with crops or livestock. The aim of the Agroforestry in Action project is to increase awareness and provide farmers, crofters and land managers with resources and information on the opportunities for agroforestry in Scotland, and its benefits for productive and sustainable farming – for example reducing soil erosion during heavy rainfall. It builds on the success of the 2021 'Agroforestry in Action' (AIA) programme.

Forestry Strategy: Improving Efficiency and Productivity - Scottish Forestry have been working in conjunction with the construction industry through the Supply Chain Development Programme (SCDP) to explore options for increasing domestic timber usage in construction. A Careers toolkit 'Working with Trees and Timber' has also been published on the Scottish Forestry website as a resource for anyone in the industry who has been asked to speak to young people about careers in forestry. It signposts and provides easy access to a wide range of resources that have been created to promote the sector. This will help to attract new and more diverse talent to the sector, which in turn should help the sector have the skills and capabilities to help the sector improve resilience and adapt to climate change.

Examples of progress on policies in support of sub-outcome that "Scotland's economy is innovative and harnesses the opportunities created as a result of climate change"

Forestry and Land Scotland's adaptation actions - Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) manages forests and land owned by Scottish Ministers. In July 2021, FLS adopted an Adaptation Action Plan with practical steps toward adapting Scotland's national forests and land to develop resilience to the impacts of climate change, and pests and diseases. Centred on the themes of Adapt, Reduce, Capture and published in December 2021, the FLS's Climate Change Plan includes reducing the pressures on forests from deer and invasive species; diversifying tree species and forest structure; and diversifying seed provenance to help make ecosystems more resilient and better able to cope with the stresses arising from a changing climate.

Circular Economy - Reducing consumption of natural materials can help to reduce pressure on the natural environment, leaving increased space and capacity for it to adapt. At the end of 2021, the Scottish Government announced the first £20m of investments from the £70m Recycling Improvement Fund to improve local authority recycling quantity and quality. At the same time, Regulations were laid before Parliament that ban some of the most problematic single use plastic products and will come into force on 1 June 2022 (subject to the UK Internal Market Act 2020). An ambitious Deposit Return Scheme for single-use drinks containers (DRS), the first in the UK, will be implemented in full from August 2023. We are in the process of establishing a textiles innovation fund to support initiatives to help Scotland tackle textile pollution and throw-away culture. And, the Scottish Government is committed to progressing a transformational Circular Economy Bill in this parliamentary session.

Clyde Mission Adaptation Pathways - Clyde Mission is a Scottish Government-led initiative that brings together partners from across sectors to identify opportunities for communities and businesses along the River Clyde to thrive. One its five Missions is to adapt to climate change impacts, particularly tidal flooding. An independent study has been commissioned to help inform a credible framework for decision makers on climate adaptation within the tidal reach of the Clyde.

Hydro Nation: Scholars Programme - The Hydro Nation Scholars Programme continues to support post-graduate research into key topics of interest in the water sector including increasing catchment resilience to climate change and nature-based strategies to attenuate surplus water and floods.

How the Adaptation Scotland Programme is supporting progress towards this outcome:

Adaptation Scotland is working with the Edinburgh and South East Scotland (ESES) City Deal Directors Group to identify how a climate risk assessment can support the ESES Regional Prosperity Framework. A risk assessment scope will be developed later in 2022 with an emphasis on using this assessment to drive transformational change and support implementation of the Regional Prosperity Framework.

Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) are continuing their approach to developing adaptation capabilities using the Adaptation Capability Framework developed by Adaptation Scotland. The FLS Climate Change Plan was published in December 2021 (see above) and provides a strong foundation for the future.

The Adaptation Scotland climate finance working group has developed a climate finance toolkit and a set of case studies to be published in summer 2022. These resources identify barriers to adaptation finance and provide advice and practical examples of how to develop public and blended finance options for adaptation projects. They provide an important starting point for developing knowledge, expertise, and capability to close the adaptation finance gap. The Climate Ready Business guidance also continues to be available on the Adaptation Scotland website.



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