Climate change adaptation programme: progress report 2023

Fourth annual progress report on "Climate Ready Scotland: Scotland’s Climate Change Adaptation Programme 2019 to 2024".

5. Progress on SCCAP2 'People' outcome

SCCAP2 Outcome 2: The people in Scotland who are most vulnerable to climate change are able to adapt and climate justice is embedded in climate change adaptation policy

This outcome has two sub-outcomes divided along the themes of vulnerable people and health and social care.

Examples of progress towards policies in support of the sub-outcome that "the most vulnerable to climate change in Scotland are engaged, empowered and able to adapt to climate change"

Scottish Flood Forum – The Scottish Government continue to grant fund the Scottish Flood Forum to work with communities at flood risk. The Forum's aim is to reduce the impacts of flooding on individuals and communities, through providing immediate support following a flood and by establishing a network of community resilience groups in flood risk areas to equip communities to cope with the impacts and threat of flooding. The grant was increased to £220,000 in 2022-2023. This enables the Forum to support and build resilience in communities at flood risk and manage the work of the Property Flood Resilience Delivery Group.

The Scottish Flood Forecast – The Scottish Flood Forecast was launched by the Minister for Environment and Land Reform on 8 February 2023. It is a new map based, national forecast produced by the Scottish Flood Forecasting Service, a partnership between SEPA and the Met Office. It uses the colours yellow, amber and red to show whether flooding is likely to happen over the next 3 days and describes what the impact might be, as well as providing information on what to do next.

Green Infrastructure Fund – The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Green Infrastructure Fund continued to support green network expansion in Scotland's most deprived urban areas. These multifunctional nature-based solutions promote adaptation for nature and people together. There are 12 projects with contracts (around £31 million total investment). Eight have completed, with the remainder due by end June 2023. All projects in this very competitive fund provide a broad range of adaptation benefits as part of nature based solutions. These include urban cooling; reducing flood risk by using rainwater as a positive amenity; creating nature networks; enabling safe active travel; healthy recreation in high quality greenspace; and community food growing. The sites attract heavy use, with resounding positive feedback, further evidencing the need for this type of intervention. They have won multiple awards and attracted international interest in how Scotland is using multi-functional greenspace for adaptation, delivering for nature and people simultaneously and successfully.

Examples of progress towards policies in support of the sub-outcome that "Scotland's health and social care is ready and responding to changing demands as a result of the changing climate"

NHS Scotland Climate Emergency and Sustainability Strategy – The NHS Scotland climate emergency and sustainability strategy: 2022-2026 was published on 16 August 2022. It sets out plans for NHS Scotland to adapt to climate change and to better contribute to the United Nation sustainable development goals. It has been developed by the Scottish Government and NHS Scotland Assure, and was subject to full public consultation. The strategy includes a set of policy and actions that NHS Boards will take to adapt to climate. Starting in November 2022, each Health Board has been required to publish an annual report, approved by its Chief Executive, summarising its progress against the aims and targets set out in "A Policy for NHS Scotland on the Climate Emergency and Sustainable Development" (DL (2021) 38) and the actions set out in this strategy.

NHS Scotland has developed a National Sustainability Assessment Tool (NSAT) which all Health Boards use on an annual basis to measure their progress across sixteen different areas of sustainability. The annual report will include the Health Board's NSAT score and highlight any examples of best practice which could be adopted across the whole of NHS Scotland. These reports will form a key part of each Health Board's annual ministerial review. Starting in 2023, the Scottish Government will publish an annual NHS Scotland Climate Emergency and Sustainability Report setting out the progress being made across all of NHS Scotland in implementing this strategy.

NHS Board Climate Change Risk Assessments and Adaptation Plans – In 2021, Health Facilities Scotland (HFS) reviewed NHS sites identified as being at high risk of flooding and recommendations were made to the respective NHS Boards. This review built on a national study on the impacts of climate change on NHS assets undertaken by HFS in 2016. Flooding and overheating are identified as the climate risks most likely to have the biggest effect on the estate and operations of NHS Scotland as well as increasing patient demand. As at April 2022, there was a commitment for all Health Boards have completed Climate Change Risk Assessment and Adaptation Plans for their areas.

Air Quality – Scotland's changing climate may affect air quality and the related health impacts. The Cleaner Air for Scotland Strategy (CAFS 2) was published in July 2021 and implementation of the actions set out in CAFS 2 has subsequently commenced. The first annual report of progress with implementing Cleaner Air for Scotland 2 was published in June 2022. The second annual report will be published in summer 2023.

Preparing for a warmer climate: Water Refills in Public Places, Top Up Taps – Increasing the availability of tap water can help support Scotland's population adapt to the changing climate by providing a free, accessible way to stay hydrated, particularly important during hot weather. Scottish Water has now installed 80 refill points across Scotland. The growing network has already saved the equivalent of- more than 450,000 single use plastic bottles since the first tap went live outside Holyrood on 27 September 2018. By reducing the amount of plastic we use and throw away, we can help to reduce the pressure on marine ecosystems.

How the Adaptation Scotland Programme is supporting progress towards this outcome:

Adaptation Scotland is working with Public Health Scotland and the Improvement Service to develop a briefing on health inequalities, climate justice and climate adaptation. This will provide principles for addressing health inequalities as an integral part of adaptation planning and decision making.

Climate Hazards in the Workplace resources, developed in partnership with the Trade Union movement, have highlighted ways in which frontline workers are being impacted by climate change. Practical tools and resources are provided to support a just transition by helping workers assess climate risks and identify actions to increase resilience.



Back to top