6.1.1 Section 19 of the Environmental Assessment (Scotland) Act 2005 requires the Responsible Authority to monitor significant environmental impacts arising as a result of the implementation of the plan, programme or strategy. The purpose of the monitoring is to identify any unforeseen adverse effects at an early stage and to enable appropriate remedial action to be taken.
6.1.2 The Environmental Report outlined existing monitoring arrangements as part of a number of related plans, programmes and strategies, including monitoring provisions for the Scottish Energy Strategy and proposed annual energy statements, Cleaner Air for Scotland, and Scotland's overall greenhouse gas emissions annual reporting. In addition, a number of monitoring frameworks were identified which target specific environmental receptors, including SEPA's water quality monitoring arrangements under the Water Framework Directive.
6.1.3 With the exception of the Key Environment Statistics annual reporting, which is no longer updated as of September 2017, it is considered that the monitoring proposals detailed in the Environmental Report remain an appropriate mechanism to monitor the Bill's environmental impacts. In particular, the annual publication of Official Statistics on Scotland's greenhouse gas emissions, which directly determine whether each annual climate change target has been met.
6.1.4 An important addition to this existing reporting landscape will be the statutory requirement, established by the 2019 Act, for annual publication (and laying in Parliament for scrutiny) of separate monitoring reports on progress to delivering each substantive (sectoral) chapter of Climate Change Plans. The first set of such reports is required in May 2021 and will help Ministers and stakeholders to understand areas where the Plans are on track and areas where more effort may be needed.
6.1.5 The annual greenhouse gas emission statistics also contain information on the sector by sector emissions position and allow for the interdependencies between these to be explored. The requirement for the annual monitoring reports on progress to delivering Climate Change Plans to be prepared on a sector by sector basis also reflects the Bill's wide-ranging and cross-sectoral implications.
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