Publication - Publication

Climate Change Plan: third report on proposals and policies - written statement

Published: 28 Feb 2018

Our formal response to the reports prepared by the four Parliamentary Committees who scrutinised proposals and policies in the draft Climate Change Plan.

Climate Change Plan: third report on proposals and policies - written statement
Behaviour Change

Behaviour Change

Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee

1. The Committee recommended that the science of behaviour change be better reflected in the policies included in the final Plan, including on the specific examples raised with this Committee on modal shift. (315)

  • Our approach to individual and household behaviour change is science-based, taking account of evidence:
    • of the multiple influences on people's behaviours, within the three Individual, Social and Material contexts;
    • that behaviour change initiatives will be more effective if they address influences within all 3 ISM contexts, and the interactions between them.
  • This behaviour change science is incorporated in our ISM tool, which has been used to support a number of policy areas contributing to the Plan.
  • We focus on the 10 Key Behaviour Areas ( KBAs) where, scientific evidence shows, individuals and households can make the biggest contribution to reducing emissions. These KBAs cover Energy, Transport, Food and Consumption / Waste. They are included in the Plan.

2. The Committee noted that tackling climate change is currently embedded within Curriculum for Excellence and believes the impact of this on behaviour change should be monitored and evaluated. (329)

  • Tackling climate change is embedded within Curriculum for Excellence in a number of ways: within the curriculum areas, as a context for interdisciplinary learning and also through Learning for Sustainability (LfS) which is an entitlement for learners. One of the approaches for embedding tackling climate change in learning has been through participation in Eco Schools programme. There are now 2,080 schools across Scotland with Green Flags. Resources on climate change are available to schools through GLOW (schools internet site). LfS is also embedded within the General Teaching Council for Scotland ( GTCS) Professional Standards which require all registered educators to demonstrate LfS in their practice.
  • The impact of LfS, including aspects relating to tackling climate change, can be monitored as part of the school improvement process. Schools evaluate the effectiveness of their practice using 'How Good is Our School 4', which highlights the importance of LfS within school settings. The outcome from a school's self-evaluation process should be used to inform their improvement plans. The evaluation and improvement process is supported by formal inspections carried out by Education Scotland.

3. The Committee recommended that each policy and proposal in the final Plan should contain detail of how data on behaviour change has contributed to its development. In addition, it recommended that ISM information is used more consistently throughout the final Plan and emphasis is given to creating the conditions that support behavioural change. (320, 321)

  • In response to the Committee's recommendations, the final Plan explains how policies have taken into account the different influences on the key behaviours, in order to make it easier for people to change their behaviour. For example:
    • Buildings - Energy Efficiency: The SEEP programme will support the installation of more efficient heating systems, investment in energy efficiency, and provision of free and impartial advice on energy saving behaviours and use of new technologies. Changes have already been made to the planning system which means that many energy efficiency measures, in particular for our homes, will not need to obtain planning permission in advance. These policies will work together to support householders to reduce their energy demand.
    • Transport - Active Travel: Policies include improvements to infrastructure (for example, through better bike parking and the development of active travel hubs at public transport interchanges), and a range of behaviour change initiatives to increase people's awareness, skills and confidence around cycling and walking for short, everyday journeys. These policies complement each other to support people to make the shift to public transport and active travel.

Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Committee

1. The Committee noted the use of the ISM tool and other measures contained in the Plan aimed at encouraging behaviour change. However, the Committee noted that the final Plan must communicate clear messages about the targets and the behaviour changes required to meet them. (179)

  • Public understanding, engagement and action are critical to the social and economic transformations required to achieve a low carbon society. We are seeing an increase in people's understanding of the urgency of climate change, and about the contribution which they can make to help tackle it. Our aims are to continue to encourage public discussion about climate change; and to engage and support people to take low-carbon actions in their everyday lives. We recognise that this can be challenging and low carbon initiatives being taken forward aim to make the transition as seamless and straightforward as possible as well as providing a host of other benefits which are referenced throughout the final Plan. During 2018 we will review the Low Carbon Behaviours Framework, setting out what the Scottish Government will do to drive and support the transition to a low carbon Scotland.