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Climate change - Net Zero Nation - draft public engagement strategy: consultation analysis

Analysis of the responses to the public consultation on the climate change - Net Zero Nation: draft public engagement strategy, which sets out our framework for engaging the people of Scotland in the transition to a net zero nation which is prepared for the effects of our changing climate.


8. Conclusions

A range of informed individuals and stakeholders took part in the consultation. These respondents shared their views and ambitions for how the Scottish Government can successfully communicate with individuals and communities and encourage the public's participation in decision making. Together, these responses provide an essential evidence base for the Scottish Government to draw upon when developing and implementing the final Public Engagement Strategy.

Reflecting their expert knowledge and specific interests, respondents' perspectives and evidence spanned a range of complex issues which cannot be summarised succinctly. This report provides a high-level summary across the range of consultation responses submitted. For more detail, readers are encouraged to look to individual responses where permission was granted for publication[19].

There is evidence across responses that the strategy is welcomed, with broad endorsement of the objectives and principles included in the approach. Respondents expressed their desire to see the strategy increase public understanding as well as awareness, to be inclusive with tailored approaches for specific demographic groups and disengaged audiences, and to enable as well as encourage action. Support was also expressed for proposed participation approaches, particularly youth participation and the citizen's assembly. Calls for partnership approaches and collaboration and for more education to enhance climate literacy were also common.

Respondents noted significant opportunities and challenges around engaging the public in the Green Recovery. It offers an opportunity to embed COVID-19 driven behaviour change before the public return to normal. The benefits of a Green Recovery, green jobs, and the increased importance of communities can all be promoted. However, they highlighted challenges around ensuring communication is of sufficient scale, clarity and relevance to be effective and that people feel empowered and able to act.

COP26 is seen as having the potential to boost Scotland's reputation as a leader in climate change action. Respondents felt it presents a unique opportunity to engage the Scottish public about the climate emergency and leave a legacy of greater understanding. This can be achieved through engaging with a broad range of communities and encouraging remote participation and creative approaches.

The commitment to effective, holistic evaluation in the draft strategy was welcomed. Respondents highlighted the need for a range of methods to be adopted and reflected on the need for clear and measurable goals which can be used to demonstrate progress.

It may not be possible to satisfy the different interests and priorities expressed across the many stakeholders who participated in the consultation. However, above and beyond specific interests, most wish to see more detail about how the strategy will be delivered.

Contact

Email: pesconsultation@gov.scot

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