Scottish climate change adaptation programme 2019-2024: consultation draft

We want to hear your views on Scotland's new five-year climate change adaptation programme to be launched in autumn 2019.

Outcome 2: The people in Scotland who are most vulnerable to climate change are able to adapt and climate justice is embedded in climate change adaptation policy

Sub-Outcome 2.1: The most vulnerable to climate change in Scotland are informed, empowered and able to adapt to climate change

The negative impacts of climate change are felt most by those who are already vulnerable because of geography, poverty, gender, age, indigenous or minority status, and disability. To ensure that existing inequalities do not widen with climate change, social impacts will need to be addressed in adaptation measures.

Policy Name

Description and Link to Adaptation

National Flood Risk Assessment (NFRA)

In 2018, SEPA published the second NFRA. This gives us the clearest picture yet of flood risk in Scotland, embeds climate change and a comprehensive range of social, environmental and economic impacts into a single assessment.

Mapping Flood Disadvantage Tool

This tool was created to identify and map the communities in Scotland most socially and spatially vulnerable to potential flood events. Alongside Scottish and Southern Energy Network's customer vulnerability mapping, SEPA has used these tools to plan targeted community engagement and awareness raising. It will also inform plans for future work including with partners like Scottish Flood Forum, Citizen's Advice Scotland and Neighbourhood Watch Scotland.

Scottish Flood Forecasting Service

As flood risk increases due to climate change, the forecasting service ensures that forecasting and warning information is available to the public and emergency responders.

Scottish Flood Forum

The Scottish Flood Forum is an independent charity that provides immediate support in the event of flooding and helps establish community resilience for areas at risk of flood. Their Flood Recovery services always seek to support those in greatest need, influenced by a number of factors including disadvantage.


This website gives people in flood risk areas a local flood alerting tool. The system uses low-cost sensors to send accurate time sensitive information to individuals about water levels in their local watercourse. In 2018, Scottish Flood Forum and SEPA supported community trials of this innovative device.

Place Standard Tool

The Place Standard is a tool that can help anyone to evaluate the quality of a place and help communities, public authorities and industry work together to create places that support a high quality of life. The tool facilitates giving a voice to those who often do not get heard. Ongoing improvements for the tool will promote the relationships between place-based approaches and climate change adaptation.

The Place Principle

The Place Principle recognises the importance of places at the heart of communities and promotes a more collaborative and participative approach to services, land and buildings.

Sub-Outcome 2.2: Scotland's health and social care is ready and responding to changing demands as a result of the changing climate

Climate change has the potential to impact on people's health and well-being, as well as the delivery of health services and social care. Higher temperatures, extreme weather events, and changes in vector-borne pathogens are some of the ways in which climate change may affect health outcomes.

Policy Name

Description and Link to Adaptation

Our Natural Health Service Programme

The Natural Health Service supports the health sector to embrace green exercise as part of policy and practice. This will see nature-based health programmes used as part of health promotion and improvement, and encourage healthier lifestyle behaviours. Changes to Scotland's climate may support this programme as leisure and other outdoor activities may be taken up autonomously by people as the climate warms.

Physical Activity Delivery Plan (Active Scotland Delivery Plan)

The plan sets out actions being taken to encourage and support people to be more active. It specifically helps people from inactive, disadvantaged and other underrepresented groups enjoy the well-being benefits from being outdoors. Changes to Scotland's climate may support this programme as leisure and other outdoor activities may be taken up by people as the climate warms.

Walking and Cycling Network

This network will close key gaps, upgrade connecting routes, link to public transport and promote shared use of paths to encourage active travel and enjoyment of Scotland's natural landscapes. Changes to Scotland's climate may support this programme as leisure and other outdoor activities may be taken up by people as the climate warms.

Sub-Outcome 2.3: Scotland's people have equal access to high standards of air quality, ensuring our population's health

Clean air is essential for our health and wellbeing, and helps to protect the environment as a natural asset. Whilst we have made great strides towards tackling air pollution in Scotland over recent years, it must be acknowledged that there are still areas of poorer air quality in many of our towns and cities. The impacts of poor air quality are not distributed evenly across the population: it is the most vulnerable members of society - the elderly, the very young and those with cardiovascular and respiratory conditions - who bear the largest burden. Changes in the climate will also impact on air quality; increases in temperature may affect the formation of ozone, increasing the frequency and severity of summer smog events.

Policy Name

Description and Link to Adaptation

Cleaner Air for Scotland Strategy

A review of the Cleaner Air for Scotland Strategy is due for completion at the end of 2019. The Strategy introduces low emission zones (LEZs) into Scotland's 4 biggest cities between 2018 and 2020 and into other Air Quality Management Areas by 2032. LEZs set an environmental limit on certain road spaces, allowing access to only the cleanest vehicles, therefore improving the overall air quality.

New UK Vehicle Emission Standards beyond 2020

Vehicle emission standards are currently set at a European level. We will work with the EU and UK Government to press for strong future emissions standards beyond those currently in place. Stronger emissions standards will ensure better air quality.

Vehicle Excise Duty (VED)

VED differentials are in place for lower emission vehicles compared to the higher emission petrol and diesel vehicles, in order to encourage their uptake. The VED is set by the UK Government, and we will continue to press the need for VED differentials for ultra-low emission vehicles through the 2020s.

Electric Vehicle Charging Network through ChargePlace Scotland

ChargePlace Scotland will continue to work on growing the electric vehicle (EV) charging network up to 2022. This will enable more widespread adoption of EVs, which are low emission and therefore better for air quality.

Vulnerable People - Adaptation Behaviours:

1. Check the weather forecast regularly and always be prepared. Climate change may bring weather that is unexpected for the season, make sure you don't get caught out, by preparing in advance.

2. Check the pollen and pollution forecasts. Changing weather patterns may impact pollen count and pollution levels, which can exacerbate some existing health conditions. Staying aware of levels that are forecasted, and avoiding times of day where pollen or air pollution may be highest can help to keep you healthy.

Associated Risks (from the UK Climate Change Risk Assessment 2017)

PB1: Risks to health and wellbeing from increased temperatures.

PB4: Potential benefits to health and wellbeing from reduced cold.

PB9: Risks to health and social care delivery from extreme weather.

PB10: Risks to health from changes in air quality.

PB11: Risks to health from vector-borne pathogens.

PB12: Risk of food borne disease cases and outbreaks.



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