CHAPTER 8: NEXT STEPS
The legislative process
8.1 The Climate Change (Scotland) Bill, once enacted, will place a duty on Scottish Ministers to set annual targets for the maximum amount of the net Scottish emissions account, with those for the first period (2010-2022) having to be set by 1 June 2010. Before finalising these targets, Scottish Ministers are obliged to request advice from the relevant body which will be the Committee on Climate Change.
8.2 This Delivery Plan is necessarily at a high level and as such provides limited detail of abatement measures and how they will be delivered in practice. The Plan is a precursor to the first Report on Proposals and Policies which, under the provisions of the Bill, Scottish Ministers are obliged to lay before the Scottish Parliament, expected to be in summer 2010.
Strengthened governance arrangements
8.3 Given the statutory imperative of delivering the emissions reductions, new governance arrangements have been adopted in the Scottish Government to support the development work over the coming year and to ensure delivery of the final package of measures contained in the Report on Proposals and Policies. The Director General for the Environment has been appointed as the Government's climate change "champion" to oversee the delivery process with a new Climate Change Delivery Board established. The Board is supported by a Climate Change Operational Group which co-ordinates the work of 13 workstreams covering the key sectors and several cross-cutting areas. This reflects the wide-ranging nature of the abatement measures and the range of policy areas involved in tackling climate change.
8.4 The workstreams on the key sectors will be responsible for generating the next level of detail for the Report on Proposals and Policies. The Delivery Plan makes clear that transformational outcomes around energy, transport and land use must be delivered to put Scotland on the pathway to meeting its 2050 target. Delivering the 10 Energy Pledges will make a vital contribution. The Pledges form a coherent approach to energy issues, focussing on both short- and longer-term opportunities for Scotland to benefit from competitive advantage in the move towards a low-carbon economy, thereby contributing to economic recovery and growth and to addressing climate change.
8.5 Some of the measures in the Delivery Plan are existing or in train. These will be reviewed to ensure they will deliver the emissions reductions expected of them. Where the measures are new they will be worked up in more detail, including a timeline for their delivery in line with the milestones defined in the Delivery Plan. This will be supported by work to provide a more detailed assessment of abatement potential across all the key sectors, building a more distinct Scottish dimension to the analysis contained in the First Report of the Committee on Climate Change. The outcome of this work will be contained in the Report on Proposals and Policies.
8.6 The Government's proposals for future work will be reviewed in light of the final Climate Change (Scotland) Bill expected to be agreed in June.
New system of carbon management and assessment
8.7 One of the cross-cutting workstreams is responsible for the development of a new system of carbon management within the Scottish Government. Carbon is to become an integral part of the policy-making and budgetary processes. This will be a fundamental change of approach across government with carbon being treated in a similar way to finance and is a clear signal of the importance the Government attaches to addressing climate change. The development of an effective and workable means of carbon management, and its establishment, is required in time for the Bill's monitoring requirements coming into effect.
8.8 The Government's commitment to publish a carbon assessment of the Budget for 2010-11 (in September 2009) is a concrete expression of its intentions in this area. This assessment is supported by work currently underway to develop a High Level Assessment methodology to assess the carbon impact of the Government's expenditure. This is combined with an Individual Level Assessment which will develop a methodology to assess the potential emissions impact of a policy and then integrate this work into the overarching assessment of individual policies and programmes. Together, these carbon assessment tools will enable the Government to understand better the implications of its budgetary and policy choices and thereby facilitate the ongoing reduction in emissions associated with its decisions. The findings from the first phase of work to develop both of these assessment methodologies will be available during the second half of 2009.
Economic opportunities and costs
8.9 Early action in moving Scotland down the low carbon pathway is seen as providing Scotland with significant economic opportunities across all the key sectors. Existing work underway in this area will be enhanced to ensure that the economic potential is understood and realised. In the joint Communiqué agreed in May by the Scottish Government and the Scottish Trades Union Council it was agreed that Government analysts will undertake a scoping exercise of what research there is on the impact of climate change on employment at national and regional level. Further work is also required on the costs of policies in the Delivery Plan, the distribution of these costs, and ancillary impacts in terms of, for example, fuel poverty.
Improving the means of measuring progress
8.10 It is important that the impact of Scotland's abatement effort can be measured. The net Scottish emissions account will provide the basis for measuring progress against targets. As defined in the Climate Change (Scotland) Bill, this will be net emissions, based on Scotland's greenhouse gas emissions Inventory, with adjustments for credits and debits. The Inventory has its shortcomings, as discussed at various points in this Delivery Plan. Work is ongoing, with the UK Government and other Devolved Administrations, to improve the content of the Inventory, the current focus being on the energy and land use sectors, where the aim is to increase the resolution of the basic data upon which estimates of emissions are based. While some improvements can be made in the short term it is inevitable that others will take place over a longer time-scale. Other means of demonstrating progress which is not captured in the Inventory will need to be explored and could form part of a wider commentary on overall performance.
8.11 Importantly, options to improve the inventory compilation process at both a UK and Scotland level are being explored with a view to speeding up the reporting process.
Wider engagement and behaviour change
8.12 Delivering the scale of emissions reductions in the Delivery Plan will require real changes from all in Scottish society: government and the public sector, business, voluntary and community groups and individuals. An engagement strategy is being prepared to ensure we approach this in an effective and co-ordinated way.
8.13 The Scottish Environmental Attitudes and Behaviours Survey ( SEABS) has offered an important insight into how people in Scotland think and behave on green issues. However, there is a need to deepen this understanding in order to influence attitudes and enable change. The next steps to this will involve:
- Commissioning in-depth qualitative follow up research into key aspects of SEABS that require further investigation; this is likely to consist of a suite of studies focusing on understanding behaviour change
- Developing further work on enabling behaviour change, ensuring that policy development is taken forward with a clear understanding of attitudes and behaviours
- Making SEABS findings more widely accessible to academic/analytical study.
8.14 Finally, it must be remembered that one of the key aims of the Scottish Government - in bringing forward the Climate Change (Scotland) Bill to set ambitious and challenging targets, and in producing this Delivery Plan to show how these targets can be delivered - is to demonstrate strong leadership to others and to use this to influence the international community. The engagement strategy will need to consider how the Scottish Government will galvanise support and action from others in the global effort to tackle climate change.
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