3. Opinions expressed on Climate Ready Scotland: Scottish Climate Change Adaptation Programme 2019-2024
3.1.1. This section sets out how the responses to the consultation on the Scottish Climate Change Adaptation Programme 2019-2024 have been taken into account as the programme was finalised.
3.1.2. In February 2019 Climate Ready Scotland: Scottish Climate Change Adaptation Programme 2019-2024: A consultation Draft was issued for consultation alongside the accompanying Environmental Report. The following seven questions were used to frame responses on the draft Programme:
- Q1. Do you agree with our outcome-based approach to adaptation in Scotland?
- Q2. Do you agree that a National Forum on Adaptation should be established to facilitate discussion on climate change adaptation?
- Q3. Do you agree that climate change adaptation behaviours should be included in the Programme?
- Q4. Do you agree that an integrated approach should be taken to monitoring and evaluation?
- Q5. Do you agree with our long term vision for adapting to climate change in Scotland?
- Q6. Does the Programme identify the right outcomes for Scotland over the next five years?
- Q7. Are there any additional policies that should be included in the outcomes?
3.1.3. Three questions were also used to frame responses on the Environmental Report and these are considered in Section 4.
3.1.4. Overall, the consultation received 73 responses from individuals and organisations with individual participants providing roughly one fifth of the responses (15 out of 73). The remaining 58 responses came from a broad range of organisations including local authorities, membership organisations, public bodies, environmental campaign groups, businesses, research and academic institutions, partnership organisations, 'other' third sector organisations and a primary school.
3.1.5. Between the Lines consultancy was appointed to undertake independent analysis and report on the consultation responses received. The analysis report presented qualitative themes in the data for each consultation question.
3.1.6. The final Programme draws heavily on the draft published in February 2019. Respondents said they wanted to see the vision for the Programme convey a strong sense of urgency and ambition, in line with the climate emergency, and link to urgent mitigation action. The responses strongly supported key features of the new Programme - linking to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and Scotland's National Performance Framework; an outcome-based approach; the establishment of a National Forum for adaptation; the inclusion of behaviour change; the integration of monitoring and evaluation from the outset; and taking into account the findings of the Strategic Environmental Assessment Report. Responses had many constructive suggestions on making the Programme as cross-cutting and effective as possible. Views on the seven high-level outcomes and the list of supporting policies were generally supportive with many suggestions for additional policies reflecting specific sectoral interests.
3.1.7. An overview of the comments received and our response to them is set out below.
3.2. The Outcome-Based Approach
3.2.1. The majority of respondents endorsed the outcome-based approach to adaptation, highlighting the many strengths associated with this. Nearly half of respondents to this question reflected on the positive nature of the outcome-based approach and highlighted its wider links and alignment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the National Performance Framework.
3.2.2. A number of respondents to this question requested additional detail on certain aspects of the approach as well as on how the outcomes will be achieved. In addition, respondents called for the urgency to tackle and adapt to climate change to be relayed more clearly.
3.2.3. There was a strong level of support from nearly all respondents for the proposal to establish a National Forum on Adaptation with a number of respondents reflecting on the Forum's model, membership and remit.
Scottish Government response
3.2.4. In adopting an outcomes based approach, the Scottish Government is following high-level advice from the Committee on Climate Change. The Scottish Government has retained the original proposal of seven high-level outcomes derived from the UN Sustainable Development Goals and Scotland's National Performance Framework. The outcomes centre on: communities, climate justice, economy, infrastructure, natural environment, marine environment, and international partnerships. The outcomes based approach allows adaptation to contribute to wider Scottish Government social and economic objectives. Programme for Government 2019-20 committed to establish a National Forum on climate change, once the Climate Change Plan update has been published in April 2020, to continue the conversation and bring together Scotland's businesses, public sector, communities and individuals so that everyone can be involved in the decisions we have to take.
3.3. Vision and outcomes
3.3.1. The majority of respondents were in agreement with the draft Programme's overall vision and approach. A small number of respondents (five respondents) thought that the Programme does not identify the right outcomes for Scotland over the next few years.
3.3.2. A number of suggestions were also received on how the Programme could be further improved, including through an emphasis on a cross-sectoral approach to climate change adaptation and an emphasis on the need for systemic change to tackle climate change more generally. Opportunities presented by the Programme, such as adopting an ecosystem-based approach, were also highlighted by a small number of respondents. Participants who disagreed or were unsure about the proposed vision and outcomes attributed this to a number of reasons, including the need for greater clarity on timescales for achieving change.
3.3.3. Approximately half of respondents agreed with the draft outcomes as set out in the consultation. Over half of comments to this question suggested a wide range of further areas to be included in the outcomes section, including calls for greater clarity on actions, targets and indicators which underpin the outcomes. The analysis of responses provides further detail on suggestions directly related to each of the seven Programme outcomes.
3.3.4. Finally, a suggestion to include a set of performance indicators to accompany each outcome was also received with the respondent highlighting this will help quantify progress.
Scottish Government response
3.3.5. Consultation responses had many constructive suggestions on making the Programme as cross-cutting and effective as possible. Views on the seven high-level outcomes and the list of supporting policies were generally supportive with many suggestions for additional policies reflecting specific sectoral interests.
3.3.6. The finalised Programme maps out the cross-cutting policy connections more clearly. It offers greater integration of adaptation across Scottish Government policies and closer alignment with key sectoral approaches than the previous Programme, for example: place-making, community empowerment, historic environment, nature-based industries, infrastructure, and ecosystems services.
3.3.7. The finalised Programme draws together in a systematic way those policies and proposals designed to address priority risks for Scotland identified in the UK Climate Change Risk Assessment 2017 National Summary for Scotland. The Programme includes seven research projects by ClimateXChange in the first year to specifically address recommendations made in Independent Assessments by the Adaptation Committee of the Committee on Climate Change (projects on: monitoring and evaluation, national economic assessment of flood risk, flood resilient properties, development in flood risk areas, recovery from extreme weather events, climate impacts on social care delivery, soil health). The Programme is designed to be flexible and evolve as new polices are rolled out.
3.3.8. The published Programme has developed further its approach to integrating monitoring and evaluation, with sets of indicators for outcome 5 on the natural environment and outcome 6 on the marine environment.
3.4. Climate Change Adaptation behaviours
3.4.1. The majority of respondents agreed that adaptation behaviours should be included within the Programme with several respondents calling for a greater focus on systemic and organisational change in addition to these.
3.4.2. Nearly half of respondents provided further suggestions on how the Scottish Government can make a contribution and support behaviour change in the context of climate change adaptation. These included suggestions that climate adaptation behaviours should be reinforced through legislation or specific policies, as well as through tackling socio-economic barriers to change.
3.4.3. Nearly half of comments called for additional detail on the behaviour change proposals within the Programme and seven respondents called for clarity and greater detail on actions, timescales, responsibilities, monitoring; as well as greater evidence on the impact of individual behaviour change, and for the implementation of legislative intervention.
Scottish Government response
3.4.4. The published Programme contains specific sections on individual and societal behaviour change setting out practical examples for each of the seven outcomes.
3.5. An integrated approach to monitoring and evaluation
3.5.1. The majority of respondents expressed support for the integrated monitoring and evaluation approach proposed in the consultation. Two thirds of participants suggested additional issues for further consideration by the Scottish Government and a number of respondents called for more detail to be provided on these proposals, as well as made suggestions on refinements to the proposals for the Scottish Government to explore. Examples of additional issues included the implementation of a mechanism to monitor the resilience of vulnerable communities to climate change risk. and specific proposals on effective monitoring approaches used within the private, public and third sectors.
Scottish Government response
3.5.2. The published Programme has developed further its approach to integrating monitoring and evaluation, with sets of indicators for outcome 5 on the natural environment and outcome 6 on the marine environment.
3.5.3. The Programme states that establishing a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation (M&E) framework is vital to ensure the effectiveness of Scotland's efforts to adapt to the impacts of climate change, identify whether resilience is increasing and opportunities are being realised, and ensure that reporting on progress and implementation is evidence-based.
3.5.4. The monitoring and evaluation framework for the second Adaptation Programme builds on the monitoring foundation established in the first Programme and has been developed in response to specific recommendations from both the Adaptation Sub-Committee (of the UK Climate Change Committee) and ClimateXChange to ensure that we can effectively monitor implementation of the Adaptation Programme and track progress towards the outcomes.
3.6. Policies to be included within each outcome
3.6.1. The majority of respondents indicated that additional policies should be included in the outcomes with over half of participants making at least one suggestion or addition to this. These encompassed a broad range of topics, including farming, food security, waste management, soil health, oil and gas subsidies, air traffic, air quality and peatland management. In addition, respondents provided a number of specific examples and evidence to help inform future policy development on the subject.
Scottish Government response
3.6.2. Consultation responses had many constructive suggestions on making the Programme as cross-cutting and effective as possible. Views on the seven high-level outcomes and the list of supporting policies were generally supportive. In view of the many suggestions for additional policies reflecting specific sectoral interests, the finalised Programme draws together in a systematic way those policies and proposals designed to address priority risks for Scotland identified in the UK Climate Change Risk Assessment 2017 National Summary for Scotland.
3.7. Further comments
3.7.1. There were a number of suggestions for Programme improvement, such as a stronger emphasis on cross-sectoral work and on the opportunities presented by climate change adaptation rather than on climate change risk.
3.7.2. Further to this, three respondents stressed in their comments a demand for local and project level approaches for the programme to be achievable. Three remarked on the need to keep it under constant review as climate change and its impacts are complex and ever-changing. One suggested the emphasis is on awareness raising and behaviour change without increased government support for structural change.
Scottish Government response
3.7.3. The new Programme offers key improvements over its predecessor 2014 Programme: the outcomes-based approach allows adaptation to contribute to wider social and economic objectives; the Programme is designed to be flexible and evolve as new polices are rolled out; greater integration of adaptation across Scottish Government policies and closer alignment with key sectoral approaches, for example: place-making, community empowerment, historic environment, nature-based industries, infrastructure, and ecosystems services; inclusion of adaptation behaviour change for the first time; and integrated monitoring and evaluation.
3.7.4. The challenges the new Programme faces are very clear. Scotland's climate is changing, and these changes will intensify. The cold winter and dry summer of 2018, along with the IPCC Special Report and new Climate Projections for Scotland published in 2018, indicate the challenges ahead and the benefits of being prepared.
3.7.5. Scotland has been preparing for climate change for over a decade, under our sector-based 2009 Adaptation Framework and our first statutory Programme in 2014. Scotland has already made a good start, as the first two Independent Assessments of our adaptation response have confirmed.
3.7.6. Our five Annual Progress Reports have shown how our response has grown from awareness-raising and knowledge-sharing to production of important guidance for the public and business sectors and inclusion of climate change in national strategies. We have a strong and enthusiastic community of climate adaptation experts and champions. We can demonstrate many examples of comprehensive climate risk assessments. A distinctive Scottish place-based model for adaptation, for example Climate Ready Clyde, has emerged.
3.7.7. New approaches to deal with the growing challenge are being brought forward: for example our Programme for Government commitment to Blue-Green Cities; Scottish Fire and Rescue Service's new approach to wildfires; and the enhanced climate resilience of the Queensferry Crossing, Scotland's largest infrastructure project in a generation.
3.7.8. Scottish Ministers want the new Adaptation Programme to deliver a step-change in collaboration and delivery of the wider co-benefits of climate action. We must secure the benefits of a climate-ready and resilient nation for current and future generations. Ensuring our communities, society, economy and environment are resilient to the expected intensifying impacts of climate change is a crucial step to delivering a greener, fairer and more prosperous country. Our shared vision is that we live in a Scotland where our communities, built and natural places, supporting infrastructure, economy and society are climate ready, adaptable and resilient to climate change. Adapting to the changing climate will both help to create a better society for everyone who lives here and unlock Scotland's immense potential as a nation.