Joint Equality Impact Assessment, Children's Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment and Fairer Scotland Assessment – Results
|Title of Policy||Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Bill|
|Summary of aims and desired outcomes of Policy||The Bill will increase the level of the ambition of Scotland's statutory climate change greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets, as well as amending the statutory target framework and reporting framework.|
|Directorate: Division: team||DECC: Decarbonisation Division: Delivery Team|
The provisions in the Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Bill (the Bill) amend target levels and the target and reporting framework. This includes adjusting the 2050 emissions reduction target from an 80% reduction from baseline to a 90% reduction from baseline. They do not set out how the targets should be delivered. The EQIA framing workshop concluded that it is not possible to identify how specific groups, in terms of protected characteristics, will be impacted by the specific proposals. The framing workshop also found this to be the case for the purpose of the Children's Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment ( CRWIA) and for assessment of socio-economic inequalities. A high-level combined EQIA, CRWIA and Fairer Scotland assessment on socio-economic inequalities was produced for the Bill. This results template covers all of these assessments.
Climate Change Plans will set out individual policies and actions to reduce emissions and meet the targets set out in the Bill. It is recommended that appropriate impact analyses continue to be undertaken for individual emission reduction policies, as appropriate.
Respondents to the public consultation on the Bill identified a small number of groups that, in their view, may be most affected by climate change and action to reduce emissions, both positively and negatively. It is recommended that the impact on these groups is particularly taken into account, if relevant, when assessing the impact of individual policies to reduce emissions.
The Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Bill amends the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 (the Act) to raise the ambition of our statutory greenhouse gas emissions reductions targets. This includes raising the 2050 emissions reduction target from an 80% reduction from baseline to a 90% reduction from baseline. It also seeks to improve transparency by improving the target and reporting framework set out in legislation.
Scottish Ministers must request advice from the Committee on Climate Change, at least once every five years, on the appropriate levels of statutory targets and the earliest achievable year to set as the net-zero emissions target year. This advice must have regard to a set of target criteria, and Ministers must also have regard to this criteria if seeking to amend targets or set a net-zero emissions target year.
A public consultation on the Bill proposals took place between 30 June and 22 September 2017. This was accompanied by six community events. Ahead of this consultation, officials undertook the screening process and framing workshop for the EQIA. As part of the consultation paper, a draft Children's Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment ( CRWIA) was published alongside the consultation and respondents were asked for their views on the initial considerations of the impact of the Bill proposals on Scotland's people, both now and in future generations that were in the draft CRWIA.
The Scope of the EQIA
The EQIA screening process concluded that an EQIA should be undertaken for the Bill but that it would need to be limited in scope as the Bill was not expected to specify measures as to how increased emissions reductions will be delivered.
The framing workshop noted the two broad categories of impacts that were assessed as part of the EQIA for the Act: impacts of delivery measures to meet targets and impacts on people associated with mitigating climate change. Discussion at the workshop made clear that whilst it was possible in the 2008 EQIA to identify some general impacts on people associated with setting a long-term target for the first time, it is not considered possible to identify impacts on specific groups for the proposal of adjusting the long-term target level from 80% to 90%.
The Framing Workshop also made clear that simply updating the evidence sources identified for the four specific impacts listed in the 2008 EQIA (flooding, fuel poverty, transport, waste/recycling) would not, given the limitations set out above, be likely to add any substantial value.
The workshop concluded that the most appropriate approach would be to take a high level approach, covering a combined EQIA, CRWIA and wider impact considerations (such as poverty and deprivation).
The main finding of the EQIA process was that it is not possible to identify how specific groups will be impacted by the changes proposed in the Bill to the statutory target levels and to the target and reporting framework.
Many consultation responses noted the importance of the target-setting criteria in ensuring that the impact on people and communities are taken into account when amending the target levels.
Consultation respondents suggested some groups which may be most affected by climate change or by action to reduce emissions. However, this was generally presented as impacted by climate change mitigation as a whole, rather than by changing the current statutory targets to those proposed in the Bill.
The main groups identified as particularly likely to be impacted by climate change and action to reduce emissions were those in rural or island communities; children and future generations; poor or deprived communities and fuel poor households.
The impacts will depend on the package of measures used to meet the targets. The Bill retains the approach of the 2009 Act of requiring that these policies are defined in strategic delivery frameworks (Climate Change Plans), which can be updated as circumstances evolve, rather than in the primary legislation itself. Climate Change Plans will set out individual policies and actions to reduce emissions.
As a result, the most effective way to ensure that decarbonisation action is fully integrated with building an inclusive economy and tackling inequalities is for Equalities Impact Assessment, Children's Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment and a Fairer Scotland assessment on socio-economic inequalities to continue to be undertaken for individual emission reduction policies, as appropriate. Where possible, these assessments should take particular note of the groups identified by consultation respondents.
Recommendations and Conclusion
It is not possible to assess the impact of the Bill provisions on specific groups in terms of protected characteristics, as it does not set out which actions must be taken to deliver the increased reductions in emissions.
The recommendation from this EQIA, and associated impact analysis, is that there should be an EQIA, CRWIA and Fairer Scotland assessment on socio-economic inequalities for individual policies to reduce emissions, as appropriate. Where possible, these assessments should take particular note of the impact of those living in rural and island communities, children and young people, future generations, those in deprived communities and those in fuel poor households.