Climate Ready Scotland: climate change adaptation programme 2019-2024

A five year programme to prepare Scotland for the challenges we will face as our climate continues to change.

How to Use this Document

This document sets out the Scottish Government’s five year Programme for climate change adaptation. Part 1 sets the context for the Programme including the latest projections of what Scotland’s climate could be like in the future. Part 2 provides information on the process of developing the second Scottish Climate Change Adaptation Programme. Part 3 is split into seven Outcomes and sets out current policies, proposals and research to increase the capacity of Scotland’s communities, businesses and natural environment to adapt to a changing climate. 

Each Outcome is broken down into Sub-Outcomes, which in turn, may be broken down further as necessary to provide a framework for adapting to climate change. Policies, proposals and research have been set against the Sub-Outcomes that they are most relevant to. In the case that a policy or proposal relates to more than one Sub-Outcome under the same Outcome, it has been presented as a cross-cutting policy. If a policy or proposal is relevant to more than one Outcome, it has been included in all of the Outcomes that it relates to. Where a policy appears in more than one place, it has been hyperlinked to the primary reference. Case studies have also been included to provide real world examples of climate change adaptation in progress.

In order to better express the organisational structure, visual representations of the structure have been included at the beginning of each chapter. These diagrams include hyperlinks that will allow you to jump to particular sections of the document as needed.


This document uses different box formats to indicate whether the box contains a policy, policy proposal, research project, case study or adaptation behaviours. Each Outcome also has an individual colour scheme, which can be viewed in the Executive Summary. The following box formats demonstrate this for the Climate Justice Outcome: 


(see pdf in supporting documents for styling)


Vision: The long term desired end state which the Programme works towards.

Outcome: An overarching aim which describes what the Programme is working to achieve at the highest level.

Sub-Outcome: The building blocks of an outcome, which combined ensure that we fulfil our overarching aims. 

Performance Indicator: A metric which enables us to track progress towards the achievement of the Outcomes or to monitor how well the Programme is being implemented.

Climate Change Risks: The consequences for Scotland that may occur from the impacts of climate change.

Policy: A course of action that is actively in place.

Proposal: A forthcoming set of actions that is under consideration.

Research: Research currently being undertaken, or already completed.

Future Research: Research that will be undertaken based on funding from this current financial year (2019-2020).



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