5. Reasons for selecting the Scottish Climate Change Adaptation Programme 2019-2024 as adopted
5.1.1. The 2005 Act requires that the Scottish Government identify, describe and evaluate the likely significant effects on the environment of any reasonable alternatives to the draft Strategy, taking into account its objectives and geographical scope.
5.1.2. Prior to the development of the programme, in January 2018, a workshop was held to consider approaches to SCCAP2. Getting the approach right from the outset was considered critical for developing a SCCAP2 that could deliver the adaptation objectives (high level outcomes) and integrate well with committed policy and action on climate change adaptation. As the programme developed, the assessment approach was refined to focus on the seven adaptation outcomes and this was considered proportionate to the high level nature of the Programme itself. The information gathered through the environmental assessment, and through the views and opinions of consultees, were used to inform the final programme.
5.1.3. The extent to which alternatives for the Programme could be considered reasonable was influenced by the relevant legislative requirements, the inherent uncertainty associated with predicting the impacts of climate change, and the significant proportion of committed policy and action embodied in the draft Programme.
5.1.4. During the process to develop the draft Programme, the Scottish Government considered alternatives including the 'do nothing' scenario and the theme based approach (in keeping with SCCAP1) and a sector-based approach. Early discussions with stakeholders informed the decision to take an outcomes based approach. "do nothing" was not considered a reasonable alternative because the requirement for a Programme is legally established and because it would not address the risks posed by climate change. A theme or sector based approach were also not considered reasonable alternatives because the actual content of the Programme would not be sufficiently different to give rise to different environmental effects. The Scottish Government remains of the view that the above options are not 'reasonable alternatives' for the purposes of the SEA.