Climate Change Plan: monitoring reports - 2021 compendium

The first annual statutory monitoring report against the updated 2018 Climate Change Plan, as per the Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Act 2019.


This annual monitoring report is the first to report against the Climate Change Plan update (CCPu) as finalised in March 2021. It follows on from the two monitoring reports published on progress to the 2018 Climate Change Plan (please see 2018 and 2019).

The Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 (as amended by the Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Act 2019), is the toughest, most ambitious legislative framework on climate change in the world. The 2019 Act increased the ambition of Scotland's already world-leading targets in response to the global climate emergency and UN Paris Agreement, now committing Scotland to a 75% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, and to reaching net-zero by 2045.

The CCPu responds to these challenging targets, updating the 2018 Climate Change Plan to set an ambitious pathway to 2032 and including 100 new policies and proposals across all sectors, as well as the ambition of over 40 existing policies scaled up.

The CCPu sends a clear statement of intent, providing greater certainty for all parts of society to contribute further to mitigating climate change. However, at this stage, there remain significant uncertainties, including the pace of technological advances, the limits of the devolved settlement, and we also need to ensure a just transition. As a result, the CCPu commits to an iterative 'learning by doing' approach, and the annual monitoring reports are a key means of ensuring this.

The 2019 Act also placed the monitoring framework for the Climate Change Plan on to a statutory footing for the first time, with sector by sector reports on progress and the inclusion of matters relevant to a just transition. This is the first set of monitoring reports on the Climate Change Plan to be published since the 2019 Act was commenced in March 2020, as well as the first to reflect the updated policy content of the CCPu which was agreed by Scottish Ministers in March 2021. Furthermore, in line with the commitments in the CCPu to include a greater level of monitoring detail, the reports also include an assessment of progress against each of the individual policies and proposals (Part C in each sector chapter).


This set of monitoring reports on the Climate Change Plan is complementary both to the CCPu (which is itself complementary to the 2018 Plan) and the most recent Official Statistics on Scotland's greenhouse gas emissions (which are for 2018), and is best read alongside these documents.

The updated Monitoring Framework for the Climate Change Plan for each of the sectors is structured on three levels: greenhouse gas emissions statistics provide the highest level measure of progress at an economy wide and sectoral level; a suite of policy outcome indicators measure the success of policies in achieving the changes that are needed; and a policy tracker monitoring implementation of specific policies and proposals.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Statistics

Official Statistics on Scottish greenhouse gas emissions determine progress towards national emissions reduction targets and also provide information on total annual emissions at a sectoral level. Statistics are published annually, typically in June, and two years in arrears. For example, the most recent figures, published in June 2020, cover emissions during 2018.

Policy Outcome Indicators

The Plan includes key policy outcomes for each sector, defined as a measurable change on the ground resulting from a policy or combination of related policies. The Framework will measure progress towards achieving these with a set of policy outcome indicators. A policy outcome indicator is a specific, objective measure closely aligned to achieving the outcome. It will underpin monitoring of long-term progress towards the outcome, but should also be responsive to change in the near-term, so that it can be used to evaluate whether the Plan is on track. Specific milestones (or targets) are set, where appropriate, for the level of the indicator to be achieved at a given time.

In the Plan update, the set of outcome indicators from the 2018 Plan were reviewed to ensure that they reflect the updated policy commitments and to improve the quality and clarity of indicators. This has led to new outcome indicators being identified, others being revised, and a few being removed where they were no longer appropriate or there were significant issues with robustness. The overall set of outcome indicators now includes 43 indicators, up from 29 previously used for the 2018 Plan. The following figure and table show the overview of progress against all policy outcome indicators across the sectors.

Summary graph 1: Overview of progress against policy outcome indicators
Bar chart showing that 31 indicators have been judged as ‘too early to say’, ten as ‘on track’ and two as ‘off track’
Summary Table 1: Progress against policy outcome indicators
  On Track Off Track Too Early to Say
Chapter 1: Electricity
Electricity grid intensity (CO2e per kilowatt hour) x    
Installed capacity of renewable generation (GW) x    
Renewable capacity at planning stages (GW: 3 categories) x    
Loss of Load Expectation (hours per year) x    
Chapter 2: Buildings
% heat in buildings from low greenhouse gas emissions sources     x
% of buildings using low greenhouse gas emission heating systems     x
Energy intensity of residential buildings (MWh per household)     x
Energy intensity of non-domestic buildings (GVA in the services sector per GWh)     x
% of homes with an EPC (EER, or equivalent) of at least C     x
% new homes built with a calculated space heating demand of not more than 20 kWh/m²/yrT     x
% of Scottish gas demand accounted for by biomethane and hydrogen blended into the gas network     x
Percentage of households in fuel poverty     x
Chapter 3: Transport
% reduction in car kilometres     x
% of new car registrations that are ULEV x    
% of new van registrations that are ULEV x    
% of new HGV registrations that are ULEV     x
% of new bus registrations that are ULEV     x
% reduction in emissions from scheduled flights within Scotland     x
% of ferries that are low emissions x    
% of single track kilometres electrified x    
% of trains powered by alternative traction     x
Chapter 4: Industry
Industrial energy productivity (£GVAm per GWh)     x
Industrial emissions intensity (tCO2e per £GVAm)     x
% of Scottish gas demand accounted for by biomethane and hydrogen blended into the gas network     x
Chapter 5: Waste
Total amount of landfilled waste (tonnes)     x
Total amount of biodegradable landfilled waste (tonnes)     x
Number of closed landfill sites with exploratory landfill gas capture/ flaring     x
Household and non-household food waste reduced (tonnes)     x
Total waste generated (tonnes)   x  
Chapter 6: LULUCF
Hectares of woodland created per year x    
Woodland ecological condition     x
Woodland Carbon Code: Projected carbon sequestration (validated credits) x    
Annual volume (in millions of cubic metres) of Scottish produced sawn wood and panel boards used in construction     x
Hectares of peatland restored per year   x  
Peatland Carbon Code: Projected emissions reduction (validated units)     x
Chapter 7: Agriculture
Increased engagement with Farm Advisory Services on environmental issues and climate change     x
Use of Nitrogen fertilisers     x
Spreading precision of Nitrogen fertilisers     x
Time taken from birth to slaughter and increased efficiency through improved health and reduced losses     x
Improvement in covered slurry storage     x
Precision application of manure and slurry     x
Hectares of peatland restored per year     x
Area of woodland on agricultural land     x

Policy Tracker

The Plan update includes a set of specific policies and proposals for each sector to achieve the policy outcomes. The Framework will monitor progress towards implementing policies and developing proposals with a policy tracker, which will be set out for annual progress reporting, from May 2021. This will consistently record progress and next steps for policies, and where possible it will include implementation indicators for specific policies.



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