Consideration of climatic factors within Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)

Guidance on the consideration of climatic factors within Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), developed by the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA).


The SEA Tool kit provides advice on what information to include in an SEA Statement

11.1 Following adoption of the PPS, an SEA Statement is prepared which summarises its effects and explains how they have been addressed. Indicators are commonly used to assist with monitoring. Although many related datasets are available to measure the performance of PPS in relation to climatic factors, those applied in monitoring should be relevant to the PPS so that its specific contribution to climate change mitigation and adaptation can be measured in a reasonable and realistic way.

11.2 Monitoring should focus on the identified significant environmental effects of the PPS. Some ideas for climate related indicators are provided in Figure 16 overleaf.

Potential effect of the PPS

Possible Indicator

Data Sources

Possible relevance within the hierarchy of PPS

Increased / reduced greenhouse gas emissions

Total GHG emissions

for Scotland (including by sector)

Likely to be more relevant to strategic or national level PPS than local level plans.

Increased / reduced road transport, generating secondary effects in terms of emissions

Vehicle Statistics for Scotland

Scottish Government - Scottish Transport Statistics

Potentially relevant to PPS which directly or indirectly influence travel distances or modes at a strategic or national level.

Reduced energy sector emissions arising from support for renewable energy generation

Energy generated by renewable sources for Scotland

May be a useful indicator where the PPS promotes renewable energy development across an area as a whole.

Positive contribution to climate change adaptation through ecological network enhancement

Extent and characteristics of ecological networks that contribute to adaptation

Informal and varying information about project level activities that aim to secure habitat enhancement or restructuring. SNH may be able to advise further.

Where the PPS has sought to contribute to biological adaptation by improving ecological networks, over the short term, reviews of project level activities could provide a useful measure of progress.

Reduced emissions arising from the promotion of sustainable construction activities

Deployment of sustainable materials in new developments

Data collection via monitoring of outcomes from the development management process

Likely to be relevant to more local level plans.

Undermining / support for resilience to increase in precipitation, flood risk and flooding

Number or % of properties at risk of flooding in area

% of new developments incorporating sustainable urban drainage

Number or % of infrastructure at risk from flooding in area

River flows and levels

Water quality

SEPA floodmaps provide an indication of areas at risk from fluvial and coastal flooding at the 1:200 return period SEPA has historic data for all river gauging stations in Scotland:

SEPA has classified Scotland's waterbodies based on their ecological status as part of River Basin Management Plans (see Annex 2 - Classification)

Potentially relevant to establish whether a lower level plan has successfully reduced the risk of new development being affected by changing flood risk over time.

Figure 16 - Examples of indicators

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