Resource Spending Review Framework: Analysis of consultation responses

Analysis of responses to our consultation on the Resource Spending Review.

Annex E: Note of the Climate Change - Youth Roundtable

Resource Spending Review:
Note of roundtable discussion 15:00 - 16:20
26 April 2022


Michael Matheson, Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport
Anna Bell – Challenge Programme Co-ordinator, Fuel Change
Matt Crilly – President, NUS
Barry Fisher – Chief Executive, Keep Scotland Beautiful
Tim Frew – Chief Executive, Youthlink Scotland
Matt McDonald – Policy Co-Chair, 2050 Climate Group
Mike Strang – Chief Executive, Youth Scotland
Mhairi Todoff – Operations Co-ordinator, 2050 Climate Group
Kirsten Urquhart – Chief Executive, Young Scot.

Supporting Scottish Government Officials from Climate Change and Public Spending divisions.

Purpose of Discussion

This is part of the external engagement programme for the RSR which supplements the online consultation (opened 9 December 2021 with publication of the Resource Spending Review Framework, closed 27 March 2022).

Introductory remarks

The Cabinet Secretary welcomed attendees and provided a brief overview of the RSR. Scottish Government officials then presented briefly on the RSR and Scottish Government Climate Policy and Climate Commitments. Mr Matheson then opened the discussion, asking stakeholders for their insight into the following points:

  • Improving spending through the RSR;
  • Specific areas of climate change the Scottish Government should prioritise for resource spend over the next five years.

Roundtable Discussion

The discussion centred on the questions listed above. We have grouped the key points around themes.

Attendees offered the following contributions and views:

Improved spending

  • The approach in the RSR to multi-year funding was welcomed. In particular, that this approach will help improve the sustainability of the Third Sector through increased ability to plan and resource effectively.
  • Thinking about longer-term spending plans also needs to involve recognising the need to retain flexibility as the focus and needs change over the coming years.
  • Spending plans must recognise the need to support the infrastructure that enables young people's engagement, in the longer-term, for example, youth workers.
  • It would be helpful for the Scottish Government to think about the approach to benefits arising from Scottish Government funding. For example, how are benefits being leveraged from funding and could the benefits brought about through renewables procurement, be structured to support both national and local organisations.
  • Also important to recognise the relationship between the RSR and the 2021 Capital Spending Review – social changes need to link to infrastructure changes to drive progress against climate change targets.

Sustaining young people's engagement on climate change

  • The importance of sustaining young people's engagement on climate change was emphasised. There has been a wide range of activity to engage and train young people, but the key question is how do we take this forward and build on what young people have told us, and demonstrate that they have been listened to.
  • There has to be continued, meaningful engagement and this needs taken into account in terms of funding and the policy process.
  • The issue of sustaining young people's engagement when their expectations around the timescales for action may be quicker than can be delivered also needs to be considered.
  • Recognition that the Scottish Government is taking action on areas of importance to young people, such as public transport, but importance of further developing and embedding these policies.

Recognising that not all young people are engaged with climate change

  • Not all young people are engaged with climate change, with some feeling disenfranchised. Therefore, it is important to think about how to involve and engage all young people with climate change. In particular, there is a need to examine how climate change is approached in schools and the need for it to be embedded across all areas of the curriculum – not only in areas such as geography and science.
  • The 'how' of engaging all young people also needs to consider how to shift behaviours and values around positive climate change actions that don't invalidate young people's feelings and aspirations.

Partnership working

  • Partnership working with the private sector is extremely important going forward, and consideration has to be given to how to leverage in business involvement and funding. The Third Sector has an important role to play in this as it can act as a bridge between the Scottish Government and the private sector.
  • Discussions about young people across the Scottish Government and the Third Sector need to be cross-cutting, and move away from continued silo discussions with different parts of the Scottish Government. This will help ensure available funding is focused and there is not a scattergun approach.

Closing the session

The discussion was extended beyond the planned time when Mr Matheson had to depart. An SG official chaired the meeting until close, thanked all attendees for their participation and outlined the process for clearing a short note of the discussion, to be included in the analysis of all responses to the RSR Framework consultation.



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