The second Scottish Climate Change Adaptation Programme sets out policies and proposals to prepare Scotland for the challenges that we will face as our climate continues to change in the decades ahead. The Programme is a requirement of the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 and addresses the risks set out in the UK Climate Change Risk Assessment (UK CCRA) 2017, published under section 56 of the UK Climate Change Act 2008.
The Programme takes an outcomes-based approach, derived from both the UN Sustainable Development Goals and Scotland’s National Performance Framework. This cross-cutting approach promotes co-benefits, and integrates adaptation into wider Scottish Government policy development and service delivery. There are seven Outcomes in the Programme, each have been split into Sub-Outcomes which act as building blocks for the Outcomes.
Outcome 1: Our communities are inclusive, empowered, resilient and safe in response to the changing climate
This outcome utilises ‘placemaking’ as a theme, the idea that each place should be planned, designed, and managed to suit the needs and aspirations of the people who live there. There are two main elements that make up a place: social aspects, and physical aspects. The first Communities Sub-Outcome relates to the social aspects of community, and includes the ways in which communities can be equipped with the knowledge and tools to adapt to climate change, while empowering them to do so. The second Sub-Outcome relates to the physical aspects of community, including the built and historic environment, and all the spaces in between. Aspects related to vulnerable people within communities are included in Outcome 2.
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
The negative impacts of climate change are likely to be felt most by those who are already vulnerable to its effects, yet have done little or nothing to cause the problem. The Scottish Government champions climate justice, and promotes a people-centred, human-rights approach that shares the benefits of equitable low carbon development, and the burdens of climate change fairly. To improve the ability of people to adapt to climate change, those who are more vulnerable must first be engaged and empowered in their own communities, as reflected in the first Climate Justice Sub-Outcome. The second Sub-Outcome relates to the provision of health and social care in Scotland, recognising that impacts on these services will likely disproportionately affect those who are already more vulnerable.
Outcome 3: Our inclusive and sustainable economy is flexible, adaptable and responsive to the changing climate.
The businesses and industries that make up Scotland’s economy vary in type and size. The natural environment forms a large base for businesses in Scotland, with agriculture, forestry, and aquaculture and fisheries forming an important part of Scotland’s identity, economy, and national heritage. The first Economy Sub-Outcome focuses on these businesses, and how they can adapt to the changing climate. Beyond natural resources, the second Sub-Outcome focuses on Scotland’s manufacturing, services and wider economy, and considers three key functions of businesses that could be impacted by climate change: capital, labour, and supply chains. Climate change will create risks and opportunities for Scotland’s businesses, with changing demands for goods and services presenting opportunities for innovation. The third Sub-Outcome focuses on the opportunities that Scottish businesses could harness as the climate changes.
Outcome 4: Our society’s supporting systems are resilient to climate change
Scotland’s infrastructure network encompasses the supply networks of energy, water, communications (including digital), roads, and rail that cross our country, and the service delivery areas of government, health and emergency services. Much of this infrastructure is critical, providing lifeline services to Scotland’s communities and businesses, particularly those that are located in Scotland’s remote highlands and islands. It is important that these networks and services are resilient as the climate changes so we can keep Scotland running, and this forms the basis of the Infrastructure Sub-Outcomes. Cross-cutting these Sub-Outcomes is the recognition that Scottish infrastructure is interdependent, and managing this will enhance resilience.
Outcome 5: Our natural environment is valued, enjoyed, protected and enhanced and has increased resilience to climate change
A healthy natural environment is vital to society, the economy and the functioning of our natural systems. Ecosystem services encompass the contributions of ecosystems to human well-being. They are typically split into four categories: regulating, supporting, cultural and provisioning. The four types of ecosystem services have been split across two Natural Environment Sub-Outcomes. The regulating and supporting services are considered under the first Sub-Outcome, the cultural services are considered under the second Sub-Outcome, while the provisioning services are being considered within the Economy Outcome (Outcome 3).
Outcome 6: Our coastal and marine environment is valued, enjoyed, protected and enhanced and has increased resilience to climate change
As in Outcome 5, Outcome 6 uses an ecosystem services approach. The regulating and supporting services are considered under the first Coastal and Marine Sub-Outcome, the cultural services are considered under the second Sub-Outcome, while the provisioning services are being considered within the Economy Outcome (Outcome 3).
Outcome 7: Our international networks are adaptable to climate change
Scotland is already an international leader in mitigating climate change. We want to show that same leadership in adapting to climate change. Outcome 7 has three International Sub-Outcomes. The first focuses on Scotland’s food supply networks given that approximately 40% of Scotland’s food is produced overseas. The second Sub-Outcome focuses on Scotland’s contribution to international governance, managing potential international instability as a result of climate change. The third Sub-Outcome focuses on Scotland’s open and connected economy which is adaptable to the changing climate.