Publication - Progress report

Climate Change Plan: monitoring report 2018

Published: 31 Oct 2018
Directorate:
Energy and Climate Change Directorate
Part of:
Environment and climate change
ISBN:
9781787813113

The first annual report monitoring progress towards Scotland's Climate Change Plan.

109 page PDF

1.7 MB

109 page PDF

1.7 MB

Contents
Climate Change Plan: monitoring report 2018
Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry

109 page PDF

1.7 MB

Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry

The Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) sector as a whole is a net sink, rather than source, of greenhouse gases. Based on the most recent (2016) greenhouse gas inventory, the sector was sequestering a net 1.1 MtCO2e in 1990. Since then, there has been a significant increase in net sequestration, up to 8.4 MtCO2e in 2016. The Climate Change Plan includes LULUCF projections based on the 2015 greenhouse gas inventory (which were the most up-to-date projections available at the time). It should be noted that although the historic forestry data were substantially revised in the 2016 inventory, the LULUCF projections remains unchanged, as projections consistent with the 2016 Inventory are not yet available. The Climate Change Plan shows that the size of the sink will increase to 2020, dip slightly until 2025, and then be fairly constant until 2032.

The Plan sets out the following three “policy outcomes” for the LULUCF sector:

1. We will introduce a stepped increase in the annual woodland creation rates from 2020‑2021 to enhance the contribution that trees make to reducing emissions through sequestering carbon.
2. Increase the use of sustainably sourced wood fibre to reduce emissions by encouraging the construction industry to increase its use of wood products where appropriate.
3. To enhance the contribution of peatland to carbon storage, we will support an increase in the annual rate of peatland restoration, from 10,000 hectares in 2017‑2018 to 20,000 hectares per year thereafter.

Forestry

  • Forestry Statistics are published annually in September and include figures on woodland creation.
  • For other indicators Forestry Commission Scotland data have been used to report against the output indicators and implementation indicators as reported in this chapter.
  • Figures reported in this chapter show that the area of new woodland planting was higher than the previous year and we expect for this positive trend to continue. Also there has been a large number of events following the Mackinnon review to promote woodland creation.
  • Figures on use of timber products in construction also demonstrate progress towards meeting the targets as set in the Climate Change Plan.

Peat

  • In 2017-18, 3,600 hectares of peatland were restored. The longer term pipeline for peatland restoration is healthy (e.g. 25,000 hectares of unrestored peatland currently covered by completed Peatland Action feasibility studies) and action has been taken to increase the capacity of contractors, land managers and the project team – and to extend the annual window for delivering restoration work - so there is good scope to deliver the longer term climate charge target for restoration. We anticipate improvements in data collection and analysis this year with the formation of a project data and information team starting in October.

Output Indicator For Policy Outcome 1:

Number of hectares of woodland created.

Until 2019-2020 From 2020-2021 From 2022-2023 From 2024-2025
Ha created 10,000 12,000 14,000 15,000

Most Recent Data: 7100 hectares for the period 1 April 2017 to March 2018.

Data Source(s): Official Statistics released in September 2018[1].

On Track: Too early to make an assessment. The target has not been achieved for financial year 2017-18 but on track for 2018-19.

Commentary:

  • Forestry statistics for woodland creation are published annually in September. These are the figures for the period April 2017 to March 2018. Figures on woodland created after March 2018 are not available.
  • Extreme weather delayed some planting so that will roll over into the figures for the following year.
  • Scotland was responsible for 78% of new woodland creation in the UK in 2017-18.
  • Plans and approvals for 2018 suggest that figures will be significantly higher for 2018-19.

Implementation Indicator For Policy Outcome 1:

Area of new woodland created with grant scheme support.

Most Recent Data: 6300 hectares from the period 1 April 2017 to the end of March 2018.

Data Source(s): Official Statistics released in September 2018[1].

Commentary:

  • Forestry statistics for woodland creation published annually in September. These are figures for the period April 2017 to March 2018. Figures on woodland created after March 2018 are not available.
  • Extreme weather delayed some planting so that will be picked in the figures for the following year.
  • Scotland was responsible for 78% of new woodland creation in the UK in 2017-18.
  • Plans and approvals already made for more woodland creation in 2018 suggest that figures will be significantly higher for 2018-19.

Implementation Indicator For Policy Outcome 1:

Percentage of applications that are processed within processing time agreements.

Most Recent Data: N/A

Data Source(s): N/A

Commentary:

  • The Forestry Grant Scheme Customer Charter was introduced in March 2018; at the same time Forestry Commission Scotland introduced new Forestry Grant Scheme applicant guidance detailing changes to the application process to deliver shorter case approval times.
  • The Charter sets out the Customer Service Standards for Forestry Commission Scotland’s handling of applications and capital claims for grant under the Forestry Grant Scheme within the Scottish Rural Development Programme 2014–2020. This Charter commits all participants, including Forestry Commission Scotland, Rural Payments and Inspection Division, consultees and applicants/claimants, to deal with applications and capital claims in a business-like manner with the objective of meeting the agreed target times.
  • Forestry Commission Scotland aims to send a draft contract to the applicant within 13 weeks of accepting a completed and submitted application if it meets the eligibility criteria and follows published guidance and process claims and make payments within 8 weeks (10 weeks if an inspection is required) of receipt of a completed and fully supported claim.
  • Cases approved during this period have been developed under applicant guidance predating the Customer Charter; there is a delay before newly submitted applications conform to the new guidance and can appropriately be monitored against the processing time agreements. Forestry Commission Scotland expects applications approved from November 2018 to conform to the new processing guidance.

Implementation Indicator For Policy Outcome 1:

Area of new woodland created on the national forest estate.

Most Recent Data: 900 hectares from 1 April 2017 until the end of March 2018.

Data Source(s): Official Statistics released in September 2018[1].

Commentary:

  • Forest Enterprise Scotland manages Scotland's National Forest on behalf of Scottish Ministers. A Strategy for Woodland Creation on the National Forest Estate was published in August 2018 and sets out Forest Enterprise Scotland’s aim to create 3,250 hectares of woodland in the period September 2016 to March 2021 (this equates to a rate of around 650 hectares per year), with 250 hectares of that woodland being on newly acquired former coalfield and derelict sites to achieve large scale restoration and remediation of these sites.
  • Forest Enterprise Scotland is improving the way they intend to achieve their share of the Scottish Government's woodland creation targets. Through the New Woodland Investment Programme[2] they intend to increase the contribution of the National Forest Estate to the delivery of Scottish Government objectives, in particular for woodland creation, which contribute significantly to the delivery of the Climate Change Plan.

Implementation Indicator For Policy Outcome 1:

Number of promotional events held.

Most Recent Data: 20 events held from 1 April 2017 to the end of March 2018.

Data Source(s): Forestry Commission Scotland data[3].

Commentary:

  • In the period April 17 to March 2018, Forestry Commission Scotland has either hosted or initiated approximately 20 events across Scotland. This includes a range of event formats, from small scale, on farm demonstration days to large scale National Events (e.g. the Royal Highland Show).
  • While some of these events are organised and hosted by Forestry Commission Scotland, others are held by our partners and facilitators, e.g. Central Scotland Green Network Trust and Soil Association Scotland.
  • These events aim to promote woodland creation and discuss some of the real and perceived challenges around planting new woodlands and integrating these woodlands within the existing business, e.g. farming. They also provide information on the Forestry Grant Scheme and the Woodland Carbon Code. The Code is a potential vehicle for attracting additional investment into woodland creation projects.
  • Events are usually well attended by a mixture of stakeholders, farmers, land managers from the public and third sector.
  • Towards the end of this reporting period interest in Woodland Creation was increased by the publishing of the McKinnon Report ‘Analysis of Current Arrangements for the Consideration and Approval of Forestry Planting Proposals’ which provides improvements to the woodland creation approval process, resulting in an increased number of events being held from March onwards.

Implementation Indicator For Policy Outcome 1:

Number of woodland creation projects that have been issued with a UK Forestry Standard non-compliance notice within the first 10 years following creation.

Most Recent Data: 0

Data Source(s): Forestry Commission Scotland Interim data[3].

Commentary:

  • Forestry Commission Scotland is building and testing new woodland creation UK Forestry Standard Compliance monitoring and reporting systems. These systems will be introduced in October 2018 with a compliance register published in 2019. Annual reporting will be adopted from 2019 onwards.

Implementation Indicator For Policy Outcome 1:

Number of Planning Authorities with current Forest and Woodland Strategies.

Most Recent Data: 31 local authorities with current Strategies in March 2018.

Data Source(s): External data from local government[4].

Commentary:

  • Forestry and woodland strategies provide a framework for forestry expansion through identifying preferred areas where forestry will be supported as it is recognised that it will have a positive impact on the environment, landscape, economy and local communities.
  • The delivery of planning services in Scotland lies with 32 local authorities, 2 National park authorities and 4 strategic development planning authorities.
  • All local authorities (bar one) in Scotland have a forestry and woodland strategy: some have been developed in partnership (e.g. for Stirling and Clackmannan), others have been developed by the strategic development planning authority (e.g. the Clyde Plan). Some are in the form of a technical report, while others have been developed as supplementary guidance for the local development plan. Some are currently under review, as forestry and woodland strategies are generally updated every 5 years as recommended in the right tree in the right place[5].
  • All of them identify the area where new woodland would deliver the council’s objectives and the areas that are more sensitive to the impact of large-scale woodland creation. They all provide a mechanism to inform local and regional woodland expansion to deliver the Climate Change Plan.

Output Indicator For Policy Outcome 2:

Annual volume (in millions of cubic metres) of Scottish produced sawn wood and panel boards used in construction (extrapolated from UK figures).

2021-2022 2026-2027 2031-2032
Volume 2.6 million cubic metres 2.8 million cubic metres 3.0 million cubic metres

Most Recent Data: 1.9 million cubic metres used in construction in the 2017 calendar year.

Data Source(s): Forest Research “UK Wood Production and Trade: 2017 Provisional Figures”[6].

On Track: Too early to make assessment.

Commentary:

  • It is too early to assess whether progress is on track until Forestry Commission Scotland have more data and can observe a trend.
  • Data are published annually, but the first opportunity to assess whether the target is met will be 2021-22.

Implementation Indicator For Policy Outcome 2:

Number of knowledge exchange events held each year involving members of the construction industry e.g. designers, specifiers and engineers.

Most Recent Data: 11 knowledge exchange events held in the 2017-18 financial year.

Data Source(s): Forestry Commission Scotland data[3].

Commentary:

All the following activities above have been focussed on education/informing construction professionals and students on effectively using timber products in construction:

  • Annual Royal Incorporation of Architects Scotland and 3 regional “Best use of wood awards”.
  • Royal Incorporation of Architects Scotland “Best use of wood” exhibition.
  • Strategic Integrated Research in Timber programme annual update seminar.
  • Advanced Timber Construction challenge fund awards.
  • Solid Wood Solutions conference.
  • Continuance of funding support and digitisation of sustainable building materials library at Lighthouse.
  • Distribution of “Modern Timber House” publication via Wood for Good.
  • Publication and dissemination of “Massive Timber: An Introduction to Solid Laminate systems”.

Implementation Indicator For Policy Outcome 2:

Annual Timber Association figures for the adoption of timber framed for new build houses across the UK.

Most Recent Data: 28.4% new build houses across UK in the 2016 calendar year.

Data Source(s): Structural Timber Association “Annual survey of structural timber markets: Market report 2016” published 2017[7].

Commentary:

  • The housing market is one of the largest markets for wood products in construction. An increase in timber frame construction can be considered to be an increase in use of timber overall in construction. This demonstrates progress for the policy included in the Climate Change Plan.
  • The Structural Timber Association publishes annual statistics which allow a constant monitoring of progress.

Output Indicator For Policy Outcome 3:

Number of hectares of restored peatland per year.

2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Output 10,000ha 20,000ha 20,000ha 20,000ha 20,000ha

Most Recent Data: 3646 hectares restored in 2017-18.

Data Source(s): Grants database Scottish Natural Heritage[8].

On Track: Too early to make an assessment for 2018.

Commentary:

A high demand has been identified for peatland restoration through feasibility studies. A significant part of current work is focused on delivering increases in capacity (budget, land manager, contractor, project team) to deliver the pipeline of projects that has been identified. Action has also been taken to extend the annual window for delivering restoration work.

Implementation Indicator For Policy Outcome 3:

Number of hectares on the road to recovery through Peatland Action at the conclusion of the preceding financial year.

Most Recent Data: 3,646 hectares on the road to recovery for year 2017-18.

Since the start of the project an estimated 13,000 hectares have been restored.

Data Source(s): Grants database Scottish Natural Heritage[8].

Commentary:

Peatland Action is scaling up in a phased way in order to allow for a sustainable increase in the capacity of land managers, contractors and the project team to the level required to meet the long term Climate Change Plan target. It will be possible to provide data on actual restoration after restoration is complete as this is a long term process. Date of restoration activity is currently the only measure.

Implementation Indicator For Policy Outcome 3:

Total number of applications received for Peatland Action restoration project funding.

2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025
No. of grant applications 100 120 130 140 150 150 150 150

Most Recent Data: 84 grant applications in 2018-19.

Data Source(s): Grants database Scottish Natural Heritage[8].

Commentary:

Demand for Peatland Action funding is increasing year on year as demonstrated by the increased numbers of applications and a pipeline of 25,000 hectares of viable restoration work supported by feasibility studies. The number of grant applications is increasing and is an indicator of the success of interest in the scheme. However, the area proposed for restoration varies from application to application.

Implementation Indicator For Policy Outcome 3:

Number of projects approved for funding from the Peatland Action restoration project funding.

2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025
No. of successful applications 90 110 115 120 125 130 130 130

Most Recent Data: 70 projects will be approved for funding in 2018-19.

Data Source(s): Grants database Scottish Natural Heritage[8].

Commentary:

In 2018, the available Peatland Action budget has focussed on supporting completion of carry-over 2017-18 projects and supporting those new 2018-19 projects which are most likely to deliver restoration (i.e. contractors already in place) and which offer the best value for money. The indicator is used to assess the quality of applications received.

Implementation Indicator For Policy Outcome 3:

Number and area of restoration feasibility plans supported through the Peatland Action programme.

Most Recent Data: 33 plans will be supported in 2018-19 covering 171,825 hectares. 12 plans supported in 2018, covering 50,000 hectares.

Data Source(s): Grants database Scottish Natural Heritage[8].

Commentary:

Feasibility studies demonstrate that there is viable demand to deliver the longer term Climate Change Plan target for 20,000 hectares restoration per annum. This indicator strongly supports progress as it is being used to line up future projects and enables the programme to create good quality applications and also assess the potential for restoration for future years. Reporting is best completed at the end of the financial year. The constraints of time and weather mean that some projects may not be completed in the calendar year.

Implementation Indicator For Policy Outcome 3:

Number of contractors trained to carry out the restoration.

Most Recent Data: 13 contractors trained in this financial year. Since starting in October 2017 there have been 79 attendees on courses.

Data Source(s): Training database Scottish Natural Heritage[8].

Commentary:

This is a critical component of developing the longer term capacity required to meet climate change targets for peatland restoration. A training programme for contractors is now established and attendance can be reported at the end of the financial year. These figures do not include the informal training that takes place between contractors and project officers which is difficult to measure but enables the sharing of expertise and good practice.

Implementation Indicator For Policy Outcome 3:

Number of land managers/consultants trained through the Peatland Action Programme.

Most Recent Data: 22 land managers/consultants trained so far in 2018-19.

Data Source(s): Training database Scottish Natural Heritage[8].

Commentary

A training programme for land managers/consultants is now established and interest is high. Figures can be reported at the end of the financial year but do not include the informal training that takes place between contractors and project officers which is difficult to measure but enables the sharing of expertise and good practice.

Implementation Indicator For Policy Outcome 3:

Number of dedicated policy officers.

Most Recent Data: 8 Project Officers.

Data Source(s): Project Manager[8].

Commentary:

The dedicated project team will increase to 30 by the end of 2018. The enhanced size of the dedicated team is designed to deliver the long term 20,000 hectares per annum target in future years.

Project Officers are key to the delivery of Peatland Action. They work with land managers and contractors to ensure applications are appropriate and delivered to a high specification.


Contact

Email: Decarbonisation Division