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
3. A collaborative approach

175 page PDF

1.9 MB

3. A collaborative approach

3.1 Cross-government approach

3.1.1 Passed unanimously by the Scottish Parliament in 2009, Scotland's climate change legislation anticipated that reducing greenhouse gas emissions would be required across all major sectors of the economy and society. Specifically, it requires us to set out policies and proposals for energy efficiency, energy generation, land use and transport. We have interpreted this in a holistic way - and this draft Climate Change Plan provides details for reductions in electricity generation, residential, transport, services, industry, waste, land use, agriculture.

3.1.2 In recognition of this cross-government responsibility, the Cabinet Sub-Committee on Climate Change, chaired by the Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, has overseen the development and production of this draft Plan. Scottish Ministers have worked collaboratively to develop policies and proposals for emissions reductions across sectors in ways that maximise opportunities and minimise costs.

3.1.3 However, the Scottish Government cannot, and should not, attempt to meet the ambitious emissions reductions targets on its own. Local government, other public bodies, the private sector, the third sector, and communities and households all have important roles to play. Throughout this draft Plan there are examples of how and where other actors are, or will be, taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reaping the wide range of other social and economic benefits that such actions bring.

The role of local government

3.1.4 Scottish local government is fully committed to combatting climate change. In 2007, Scottish local authorities demonstrated clear leadership by voluntarily creating and signing the Scottish Climate Change Declaration. This document set out local authorities' intent to work across all areas in order to drive the behaviour and technological changes necessary to reduce carbon emission levels to those required to meet national targets. Since then, emissions directly attributable to council actions and estates have fallen substantially, demonstrating both the commitment of Scottish local authorities and the power of public statements of intent.

3.1.5 As major players under the Climate Change (Scotland) 2009 Act, local authorities also play a critical role in the delivery of the Public Bodies Climate Change Duties. However, it is not only with regards to directly attributable emissions that councils have played their part. The work of local authorities affects all sectors of Scottish society, and influences individuals and communities across the country.

3.1.6 Over the course of this Plan and beyond, the Scottish Government will continue to work with local government to empower councils to meet local challenges so that they can continue to make a valued contribution to Scottish targets, policies and proposals.

Text box 3-1: Mandatory reporting

The wider public sector - mandatory reporting

The Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 places duties on public bodies relating to climate change. Further to the Act, in 2015 the Scottish Government introduced an Order [14] requiring all 150 Public Bodies who appear on the Major [15] Player list to report annually to Scottish Ministers on their compliance with the climate change duties. The first mandatory reports were submitted on 30 November 2016. Annual reporting supports compliance with the public bodies duties and consolidates climate change information from the public sector.

This Public Bodies Climate Change Duties Reporting mechanism provides a solid basis for tracking public sector action on climate change and driving continuous improvement. The reporting platform introduces standard methodology to improve data consistency. Reports and analysis are publicly available, increasing accountability and transparency, and making it easier for the public and other parties to understand an organisation's climate performance. This in turn is helping improve leadership and engagement, while raising awareness of the impact of climate change with senior management, ensuring climate change objectives are integrated in corporate business plans and action embedded across all departments.

The reporting framework also assists better decision making and strategic planning and helps identify opportunities for financial efficiencies and cost savings. We will establish a baseline from the 2016 reporting data to identify future trends in performance.

The Scottish Government funds the Sustainable Scotland Network ( SSN) to provide operational support for this reporting process. SSN acts as a single point of contact for all public bodies on reporting, providing training and support to bodies completing their reports, coordinating returns and analysing the data. Scottish Government also works with public sector leadership networks, including the Scottish Leaders Forum, Chief Executives' Forum and the Scottish Government Delivery Bodies Group, to promote action on climate change.

3.2 Community action - the Climate Challenge Fund

3.2.1 The Climate Challenge Fund, fully funded by the Scottish Government, supports communities across Scotland to run locally-led projects that reduce local carbon emissions, improve their local communities and help adapt to the impacts of a changing climate. Since its launch in 2008, the Scottish Government has awarded £75.7 million to 588 communities.

3.2.2 The Climate Challenge Fund focuses on supporting projects which deliver the greatest reduction in carbon emissions and support Scotland's most deprived communities. Continued Scottish Government investment in the Fund helps ensure that communities are empowered, well-equipped and supported to deliver solutions to local issues on their own terms.

Table 3-1: Climate Challenge Fund

Climate Challenge Fund project types


The Fund supports a range of activity and has helped communities to reduce, reuse and recycle their waste, increase the energy efficiency of homes and community buildings, encourage active travel and the use of low carbon transport, and produce local food.

The Fund supports a wide range of community-led action by, for example, arts groups, sports clubs, community councils, faith groups, student unions, residents associations, local charities, food groups, community-led housing associations and development trusts.

3.2.3 Although the Climate Challenge Fund's core aims are climate change related, as with so many other climate change policies, the positive benefits have been found to be wide reaching. These include social and health benefits, the creation of employment and training opportunities, and financial savings for individuals and reductions on fuel poverty through home energy efficiency measures.

3.3 The role of the private sector

3.3.1 Sustainable and inclusive business growth is the core of Scotland's Economic Strategy. Successful implementation of this draft Plan depends crucially on promoting and empowering changes over time in every home and business across Scotland. Building on the work of the 2020 Climate Group, and the many individual businesses that have been developing low carbon products and services, we will widen our work with business organisations and companies to develop a shared understanding of how best to reduce carbon emissions in line with this Plan and continue to boost productivity and economic success.

3.3.2 We have already started to talk to business and sectoral organisations, and we will listen to individual businesses around Scotland. This will facilitate their own strategic thinking and inform our decisions on business support, now and in the longer term. And it will ensure that the business voice shapes the implementation of the final Plan. The challenges are clear - as are the opportunities to innovate and to enhance competitiveness by being at the forefront of agreed international steps to deliver a low carbon global economy.

3.4 The role of the third sector

3.4.1 The third sector has a central role to play in securing the implementation of the draft Climate Change Plan. Third sector organisations can weave environmental issues into their overall purpose, promoting action in response to climate change to a wide audience. Examples of this activity include Eco-Congregation Scotland, who offer a programme to enthuse and equip churches to address climate change through their estates and congregations, and Development Trusts Association Scotland, whose 2016 conference focused on climate change, localism and social justice. Implementation of the Plan will be strengthened by working with the community sector across Scotland engaging on the Plan and its delivery.

3.4.2 Non-government organisations are also very important in reflecting public support and highlighting best practice. Coalitions such as Stop Climate Chaos Scotland ( SCCS) engage with tens of thousands of people from across Scotland on climate change and play an important role in policy development, scrutiny and the promotion of Scotland's climate change story to international audiences.


Email: Kirsty Lewin

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
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