Response to the Climate Change Committee: progress reducing emissions – report to Parliament 2021

In December 2021, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) published its annual report on progress in reducing emissions in Scotland, assessing the government’s climate change mitigation activity. This report addresses the CCC’s recommendations.

Letter to Lord Deben

Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport
Michael Matheson MSP

T: 0300 244 4000


Lord Deben, Chairman of the Climate
Change Committee

By email:

26 May 2022

Dear Lord Deben,

We are grateful for, and welcome, your Committee's December 2021 report on Scotland's progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The Scottish Government remains committed to ending Scotland's contribution to climate change in a way that is just and fair by 2045, in line with the statutory targets set in the 2019 Climate Change Act.

We welcome the Committee highlighting our high ambition for decarbonisation, and our leading actions in areas such as setting out buildings decarbonisation and public engagement. We are alive to your call for further urgent action across all sectors of the economy, particularly in light of recent international events, and agree with the Committee's finding that the focus now in Scotland must be on the delivery of our policies aimed at driving transformational emissions reductions across all areas of the economy.

Since the publication of the committee's report, we have made significant key steps that will drive delivery, for example the publication of multiple sector strategies containing ambitious policies. These include the routemap to achieve a 20% reduction in car kilometres by 2030; the ScotWind leasing rounds over this Parliament, with the goal of increasing our capacity up to 24.8 gigawatts by 2030 – enough to power 8m homes; our Infrastructure Investment Plan, published in February this year, including almost £9bn for environmental sustainability and the transition to net zero; as well as the Fuel Poverty Strategy published December 2021 and the Climate Change Emergency Skills Action Plan.

We will ensure that the Committee's progress report recommendations are considered and incorporated as part of the wider approach to keeping our package of policies on climate change under review. Our response to all of the recommendations is contained in Annex A and, in summary, of the 70 specific recommendations raised by the Committee we accept (either fully or partially) 66 of these. The remaining 4 cannot be accepted at this time, but will be kept under review.

The CCC have categorised the recommendations as either being the sole responsibility of the Scottish Government, or having a joint responsibility with the UK Government. Of the 14 that have joint responsibility, we have accepted or partially accepted 13 of these; we'd expect the UK Government to match our ambition to ensure these can be delivered upon. Two of the four recommendations that we cannot accept are actually in part reserved matters, and so the Scottish Government will continue to work with the UK Government on these.

This response should be read alongside the statutory Climate Change Plan monitoring reports laid in the Scottish Parliament on 26 May, which include particular updates on NETs, and an assessment against outcome indicators.

Finally, as the Committee is aware, we are planning to lay a draft of the next full Climate Change Plan by November 2023. The Committee's current and future advice will form an important element of the process of shaping that Plan, and we look forward to further engagement.

Please be aware that a copy of this letter will be laid in the Scottish Parliament and that I intend to publish a further copy on the Scottish Government website.

Michael Matheson



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