Publication - Progress report

Draft climate change plan: draft third report on policies and proposals 2017-2032

Published: 19 Jan 2017
Energy and Climate Change Directorate
Part of:
Environment and climate change

Draft of the climate change plan, the third report on proposals and policies (RPP3) for meeting Scotland’s annual greenhouse gas emissions targets.

175 page PDF

1.9 MB

175 page PDF

1.9 MB

Draft climate change plan: draft third report on policies and proposals 2017-2032
1. The draft Climate Change Plan explained

175 page PDF

1.9 MB

1. The draft Climate Change Plan explained

1.1 How to use this document

1.1.1 This document is a draft of the Scottish Government's Third Report on Policies and Proposals, the Climate Change Plan, for meeting its greenhouse gas emission reduction targets from 2017-2032. This draft Plan contains a set of introductory chapters, a set of sector specific chapters, and a set of annexes.

1.1.2 This chapter provides background information on the policy history of Scotland's emissions reductions activity from 2009 to the present, a summary of the Committee on Climate Change's fifth report on Scotland's progress towards meeting emission reduction targets, and an explanation of this draft Plan's companion document - the draft Energy Strategy.

1.1.3 Chapter 2 summarises our emissions reductions pathway to 2032 by sector, outlines our approach to adaptation, explains our response to the Paris Agreement, including our proposed new Climate Change Bill, and references our approach to Brexit.

1.1.4 Chapter 3 focuses on the roles of the main players: Scottish Government, local government, the wider public sector, the private sector, the third sector and communities. All have critical roles to play in both policy design and implementation. The role of individuals is addressed in Chapter 5 in the section on behaviours. Further information relating to behaviour change is provided in the annexes on the ISM tool and Climate Conversations.

1.1.5 Chapter 4 provides details of our statutory duties including the emissions reduction targets themselves out to 2032, how we compensate for excess emissions, how we account for traded and non-traded emissions, and an explanation of consumption emissions. It also provides a summary of our new system-wide energy model - TIMES - and how we have used that to allocate emissions reductions effort across the economy. This chapter also explains the difference in approach from previous reports on proposals and policies and this draft Climate Change Plan.

1.1.6 Chapter 4 also contains information on costs, how we take account of co-benefits and potential adverse side effects, and the Strategic Environmental Assessment.

1.1.7 Chapter 5 focuses on two of the major enabling elements of transformational change: understanding and influencing behaviours and the role of Scotland's planning system in decarbonisation.

1.1.8 Chapter 6 provides detail of our new monitoring and evaluation framework. Based on a set of principles, and using a set of indicators, the framework will enable Ministers to monitor progress to ensure quality improvement in policy action. It will also enable the Scottish Parliament and stakeholders to scrutinise implementation.

1.1.9 Chapters 7 to 14 are sector specific: electricity, residential, transport, services, industry, waste, land use, and agriculture. Each of these sectors is set out in the same way. They contain information on: historical emissions; ambition and milestones for 2020, 2030 and 2050; policy outcomes, policies, policy development milestones and proposals; progress since the Second Report on Policies and Proposals; and wider impacts including co-benefits and possible adverse side effects.

1.1.10 Each sector chapter is organised according to specific policy outcomes. These statements of change are developed from the TIMES energy model employed to develop the Climate Change Plan and provide the foundations of a low carbon Scotland. The TIMES model analysis is powerful in helping to understand the possible pace of change of future technologies and fuel types, allowing sectors to provide a robust set of policy outcomes. These tangible, real life, descriptions of change provide a descriptive window into the future low carbon economy.

Text box 1-1: Definitions and explanations Definitions and explanations

For the purpose of this draft Plan:

A policy outcome is a measure of change on the ground, resulting from a policy or combination of related policies. An example policy outcome from land use would be the commitment to support an increase in the annual rate of peatland restoration from 10,000 hectares to 20,000 hectares per year.

A policy is a committed course of action which has been wholly decided upon, and to which a policy outcome can be attributed to with a reasonable level of confidence. The land use policies of providing sufficient finance to fund at least 20,000 hectares of peatland restoration per year from 2018/19, and to provide training in peatland restoration, both contribute to the realisation of the policy outcome of 20,000 hectares of peatland restoration per annum.

A policy development milestone is a government action which is needed to progress or develop a final policy that will reduce emissions in a particular sector. For example, a commitment to consult on the introduction of emission reducing regulations would be considered a policy development milestone. It is not possible to confidently attribute any contribution to policy outcomes from a policy development milestone, although it is a committed course of action indicating a clear intention.

A proposal is a suggested course of action or exploratory action, the details of which might change as this course of action is explored further. It is not possible to confidently attribute the realisation of a policy outcome to a proposal until it is converted to a policy.

1.1.11 This draft Climate Change Plan was laid in the Scottish Parliament on 19 January 2017, and is subject to a 60-day period for Parliamentary consideration. Before finalising the Climate Change Plan, Ministers must have regard to any representations on the draft Plan, any resolution on the draft passed by the Scottish Parliament, and any report on the draft published by any Committees of the Parliament.

1.2 How we got here

1.2.1 The table below summarises the milestones from the Scottish Government's Climate Change Delivery Plan publication in June 2009, through to the publication of this draft Climate Change Plan.

Table 1: How we got here



June 2009

Scottish Government's Climate Change Delivery Plan published.

June 2009

Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 passed unanimously by the Scottish Parliament.

February 2010

Committee on Climate Change ( CCC) advice to the Scottish Government on the 2020 interim target and annual emissions targets 2010-2022.

May 2010

The Climate Change (Limit on Carbon Units) (Scotland) Order 2010, setting carbon unit limits 2010-2012.

October 2010

The Climate Change Annual Targets (Scotland) Order 2010, setting annual emissions reduction targets 2010-2022.

November 2010

Scottish Government's draft First Report on Policies and Proposals ( RPP1) laid in the Scottish Parliament, followed in March by publication of the final RPP1.

July 2011

CCC advice to Scottish Ministers on the second batch of annual targets 2023-2027 received.

August 2011

CCC advice to Scottish Ministers on setting carbon unit limits 2013-2017 received.

October 2011

Scottish Government's Climate Change Annual Targets (Scotland) Order 2011 setting the annual emissions targets 2023-2027.

December 2011

The Climate Change (Limit on Carbon Units) (Scotland) Order 2011, setting carbon unit limits 2013-2017.

January 2012

CCC's first annual progress report, Reducing emissions in Scotland, published.

October 2012

Scottish Government's First Annual Report, The Scottish Greenhouse Gas Emissions Annual Target 2010, published.

January 2013

Scottish Government's draft Second Report on Policies and Proposals ( RPP2) laid in the Scottish Parliament, followed in June by publication of the final RPP2.

March 2016

CCC advice to Scottish Ministers on the third batch of annual targets 2028-2032 received.

July 2016

CCC updated advice to Scottish Ministers on the third batch of annual targets.

October 2016

The Climate Change (Annual Targets) (Scotland) Order 2016.

October 2016

The Climate Change (Limit on Use of Carbon Units) (Scotland) Order 2016.

January 2017

Draft Climate Change Plan - the draft Third Report on Policies and Proposals ( RPP3) laid in the Scottish Parliament.

Text box 1-2: Committee on Climate Change Progress Report [1]

Committee on Climate Change assessment of Scotland's progress

The Committee on Climate Change publishes an annual report on progress towards meeting Scottish climate change targets. The Committee published its fifth report in September 2016 [1] and advised that Scotland is leading the UK in greenhouse gas emissions reductions, but more needs to be done to ensure future targets are met. Lord Deben, Chairman of the Committee on Climate Change said: "Scotland continues to lead the UK both in performance and ambition when it comes to tackling climate change. Emissions are reducing and the latest targets have been hit. Scotland has set out its intention to meet the challenges of climate change and its contribution to the ambition agreed at the Paris climate conference last December. New policies are now required for Scotland to continue its commendable path to decarbonising its economy."

The report highlights that emissions have fallen by an average of 3.3% per year since 2009, mostly due to progress in the power sector with reduced coal and expanded renewable generation. However, there has been little progress in reducing emissions from transport and agriculture and land use, and there is much further to go for renewable heat uptake. To meet high ambition and tighter targets beyond 2020 there is a need for stronger policies in the Climate Change Plan.

1.3 The Climate Change Plan and the Energy Strategy

1.3.1 The Scottish Government's draft Energy Strategy should be regarded as a free-standing companion document to this draft Plan. In developing the draft Energy Strategy, the Scottish Government has set out, for the first time, a full statement of its ambitious long-term vision of energy supply and use in Scotland, aligned with our greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets. The draft Energy Strategy is being published in January 2017 for public consultation.

1.3.2 The draft Energy Strategy explores the choices Scotland faces in relation to the future energy system, acknowledging that while the Climate Change Plan is required by law to present a clear route to meeting emissions reduction targets to 2032, we cannot predict with accuracy the exact future mix of energy in Scotland out to 2050.

1.3.3 The draft Energy Strategy, therefore, takes a more exploratory approach, particularly important for the medium to longer term - providing opportunities to demonstrate and consider alternative sources of low carbon energy supply that are not yet certain enough to include in the Plan. It commits to undertaking further work to establish where, with the right support and leadership from government, these emerging fuel sources and technologies can be credible alternatives in the future.

1.3.4 Some of these alternative energy sources may, for example, have the potential to reduce both the cost and the delivery barriers of policies or proposals in the current draft Plan, such as the replacement of natural gas by 100% pure hydrogen for space heating in some areas of the gas network.

1.3.5 The draft Energy Strategy consultation also provides an opportunity to seek views on the targets that will set the ambition of the Scottish Government and guide the transition towards the modern, integrated, clean energy system we wish to see in Scotland. A number of stakeholders have proposed a 50% 'all energy' renewables target for 2030. The draft Energy Strategy will make an appraisal of this target - meeting the pledge in the 2016 SNP Manifesto to give it careful consideration.


Email: Kirsty Lewin

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road