1 Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 context and reporting history
1.1 Section 72 of the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 ( 'the 2009 Act'), which came into force on 1 April 2010, introduced Section 3F into the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997 (referred to as 'the 1997 Act'). This report will refer to Section 3F, although references to Section 72 are also commonly recognised and used. Section 3F requires that:
'A planning authority, in any local development plan prepared by them, must include policies requiring all developments in the local development plan area to be designed so as to ensure that all new buildings avoid a specified and rising proportion of the projected greenhouse gas emissions from their use, calculated on the basis of the approved design and plans for the specific development, through the installation and operation of low and zero-carbon generating technologies.'
1.2 Scottish Ministers are required by Section 73(1) of the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 to report annually to the Scottish Parliament on two topics:
- the operation of the requirement on relevant planning authorities to include policies within development plans;
- an assessment of whether the Section 3F requirements have contributed effectively to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from developments.
1.3 Since 2015, or the fourth annual report on the operation of section 3F, the annual reports are required by Section 73(2) of the 2009 Act to include an assessment of whether the section continues to be needed. If it is considered no longer needed, Scottish Ministers may repeal sections 3F and 73 by order.
Understanding the Legislation
1.4 Section 3F applies only to local development plans. Local development plans are prepared by planning authorities across Scotland as required by Section 16(1) of the 1997 Act.
1.5 Section 3F concerns the installation and operation of low and zero-carbon energy generation technologies, not energy efficiency improvements or energy-saving technologies.
1.6 Annual reports on the operation of section 72 of the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 have been laid in the Scottish Parliament each year since 2011 and are available to read or for download from the Scottish Government website.