Low Carbon Scotland - meeting our emissions reduction targets 2013-2027: second report

This is our second report on proposals and policies (RPP2) for meeting our climate change targets.

10. Monitoring progress and impacts

10.1 The Scottish Government's Low Carbon Management System

10.1.1 The Climate Change Delivery Board [275] , previously known as the Emissions Reduction Programme Board, has responsibility for monitoring the Scottish Government's progress on both climate change mitigation and adaptation. In terms of mitigation, its purpose is to ensure delivery of the programme of policies and proposals in RPP2 and subsequent reports required to meet the statutory greenhouse gas emissions reductions targets.

10.1.2 The Board is chaired by the Director General for Enterprise, Environment and Digital. Members of the Board include the Directors in the Scottish Government responsible for the key sectors detailed in this document. Current membership is likely to expand following the recent inclusion of climate change adaptation to the Board's remit. To introduce greater scrutiny and challenge, and in response to the 2011 Audit Scotland review (see below), two non-executive members have joined the Board: James Curran, Chief Executive of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency; and Alan Thompson. In addition, we have had discussions with COSLA about their potential future membership of the Board.

10.1.3 Robust accountability and monitoring mechanisms are an essential aspect of our low carbon management system. Since the publication of RPP1, we have continued to develop these mechanisms to help us track progress. We will further develop them using a system of Check Point Reports and Exception Reports. Risk identification and management will be a significant part of the system.

10.1.4 An important aspect of this approach involves the use of milestones. While there are some milestones in RPP2, we recognise that more needs to be done. We are, therefore, developing milestones for RPP2 that will be used by the Board to measure progress against both policies and proposals. The nature of the milestones will vary. However, they will all signify the completion of a significant deliverable, for example a key decision, an element of new infrastructure, the development of legislation, or the securing of finance. The milestones will help the Board assess progress and, importantly, provide an early warning system to identify where delivery is not as originally envisaged.

10.1.5 To ensure transparency, and in response to the 2011 Audit Scotland review report, we publish information about the Board on our climate change webpages. This includes details of the Board's meeting agendas, its meeting notes, and the Carbon Reduction Activity Reports [276] (previously referred to as scorecards during their development phase).

10.2 Public Sector Climate Leaders Forum

10.2.1 We believe that the key to driving down climate change emissions is strong and visible leadership. This is particularly important in the Scottish public sector. To this end we propose to establish a Public Sector Climate Leaders Forum. This Forum will be chaired by the Minister for Environment and Climate Change, with COSLA's political leadership playing a key role. Membership will compose of leaders from across the public sector.

10.2.2 The remit of the Forum will include oversight of climate change governance for public bodies, oversight of progress on emission reductions delivery and implementation, and a strong relationship with SSN (Sustainable Scotland Network). The focus of the Forum in the first instance will include our RPP2 proposal to ramp up emission reductions in the public sector (see para 6.5.6) but it will have also have a key role in encouraging the sharing of good practice through to identifying and overcoming barriers to progress. We will publish our proposals in October 2013.

10.3 Independent assessments

10.3.1 Since the publication of RPP1, a number of independent progress or review reports have been undertaken and published. In December 2011, Audit Scotland published a review report on the Scottish Government's progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. [277] As stated above we responded to the transparency recommendation in that report by appointed non-executive members to the Climate Change Delivery Board, and setting up a new web page [278] with information about the Board.

10.3.2 The CCC has also published two statutory annual reports assessing Scotland's progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The first was published in January 2012 [279] , and the second in March 2013 [280] We welcome the findings of both reports that Scotland has made good progress in delivering on emission reduction measures to date.

10.4 The Scottish Parliamentary scrutiny process

10.4.1 This document is the final version of the second report on proposals and policies for meeting annual targets that the Scottish Ministers must lay before the Scottish Parliament in accordance with the requirements in section 35 of the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009.

10.4.2 A draft version of the report was laid before the Scottish Parliament on 29 January 2013 and underwent a 60-day period for Parliamentary consideration. During this period, the following four Parliamentary subject committees took evidence on the draft report:

  • Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee
  • Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee
  • Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee
  • Local Government and Regeneration Committee

10.4.3 The reports of these committees were published on 22 March 2013 and are available from the Scottish Parliament Information Centre and on the Scottish Parliament's website. [281] [282] [283] [284]

10.4.4 The Official Report of the Parliamentary debate on the draft RPP2, which took place on 26 March 2013, is also available on the Scottish Parliament website. [285]

10.4.5 The Scottish Government also received direct representations on the draft RPP2. These have been published on the Scottish Government's website. [286]

10.4.6 The Scottish Ministers laid a written statement before the Scottish Parliament together with this final report, setting out details of the representations etc. made to them in respect of the draft report and indicating the changes that were made as a result of those representations.

10.5 Strategic environmental assessment

10.5.1 The Environmental Assessment (Scotland) Act 2005 sets out statutory requirements for the preparation and publication of Strategic Environmental Assessments ( SEA) by public bodies. The purpose of SEA is to ensure that the likely significant environmental effects of Scottish plans, programmes and strategies are assessed and taken into account during their preparation.

10.5.2 The Environmental Report is the key medium for outlining the outputs of the Strategic Environmental Assessment process. The Environmental Report on the proposals and policies set out in the draft RPP2 details the results of the environmental assessment of these measures, identifying and evaluating the likely significant environmental effects of implementing them, as well as identifying the means to prevent or avoid significant adverse effects and enhance positive ones, while also considering reasonable alternatives where appropriate. [287]

10.5.3 The Environmental Report was available for comment during the 60-day period for Parliamentary consideration of the draft RPP2 detailed above.

10.5.4 The last output of the SEA process is the preparation and publication of an SEA Statement that will, in due course, set out how the findings of the SEA have been considered, and how views expressed during the consultation period were taken into account.

10.5.5 More information about the SEA of the proposals and policies set out in this report is available on the Scottish Government's website.


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