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.

Appendix D: Principles for Public Engagement

The following principles will be embedded throughout public engagement activity included within the draft strategy.


Our green recovery from COVID-19 and our transition to a net zero nation bring numerous opportunities with potential benefits to our health, wellbeing, and local communities. It is important that our public engagement includes a renewed focus on these opportunities and benefits, people have the opportunity to make a real difference and our engagement must highlight this. The actions required to combat, and adapt to, climate change can create a better, and fairer, society for everyone. We are therefore committed to creating an uplifting vision which people can relate to, understand, and be motivated to achieve.

Putting People First

Decarbonising our nation will have a significant effect on people's lives, so it is crucial that we understand and respond to people's concerns, have an inclusive decision-making process, and put people in Scotland at the forefront of everything that we do. A net zero nation is not possible without the support and contribution of our citizens. Communities are not bystanders in the transition but integral players in making it a success.


Conversations around climate change are essential to encourage positive social norms and dispel negative misconceptions. We are reassured by discussing these issues with those around us, knowing that climate change is a shared concern and that our combined actions are making a difference. This engagement is required for all of society, including those that will be most affected by the transition to net zero.


Climate justice and a commitment to a just transition approach are integral to the Scottish Government's response to both mitigating and adapting to climate change. It is important to understand which communities and sectors are most likely to be affected by the transition and actively engage with these groups. Those most impacted by our changing climate have often contributed least to the problem, both domestically and internationally. Working with affected communities to design and deliver our transition to net zero will ensure we address climate change in a way which is fair, and that reflects their circumstances and experiences.


Scotland is a nation of incredible diversity. It is important that this diversity is reflected in our transition to a net zero society and that we reach all sections of Scottish society and give them an equal say in their future. Our engagement approach will therefore be inclusive and accessible to all.


We will ensure that we engage with research, encouraging collaboration between experts and policy makers. An evidence-based approach will result in real and lasting social transformation. To that end, we will communicate research findings so that all members of the public can engage with the latest developments. By working in collaboration with experts, duplication can be avoided, gaps in research identified, and the evidence base expanded.

Open & Transparent

The Scottish Government is committed to being an Open Government with these values placed at the heart of our National Performance Framework. Regarding our approach to climate change, we will be open and transparent to make sure people can see and understand our actions.



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