Scotland's Response to Climate Change

Since the mid-2000s Scotland has been at the forefront of national responses to climate change. Keep Scotland Beautiful supports the leadership being shown by Scotland and supports the range of legislation and policies brought forward to address climate change. 

Stop Climate Chaos Scotland have produced a film that summarises some of the climate action taking place in Scotland. 

 You can read more about Scotland's climate change legislation and policies below.

Climate Change (Scotland) Act 

In 2009 the Scottish Parliament unanimously passed the Climate Change (Scotland) Act. Keep Scotland Beautiful supports the Act and urges all of Scottish society to work together to achieve the emissions reduction targets established in the Act. 

Additionally, Keep Scotland Beautiful supports the Act’s commitment to action on climate change adaptation and sustainability, and we urges all of Scottish society to work together to implement these commitments. 

Scotland’s emissions reduction targets 

Scotland’s emissions reduction targets are annual targets. From a baseline year of 1990, interim targets for 2020 are a 42% reduction in Greenhouse Gases (GHG) emissions, and for 2050 the emissions target is an 80% reduction. 

Keep Scotland Beautiful acknowledges that these targets were informed by the science of climate change and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) emissions scenarios. Keep Scotland Beautiful commend the Scottish Parliament for taking this science based approach, and the charity support the need to remain committed to these targets until such time as there is a scientific reason for them to be altered. Keep Scotland Beautiful supports the emissions reduction targets of the Climate Change (Scotland) Act.

While the Scottish targets are measured using international standards for ‘territorial emissions’ accounting, Keep Scotland Beautiful supports the provisions in the Act which require Scotland to take account of its consumption-based emissions (emissions allocated to Scottish consumption of goods and services). Keep Scotland Beautiful has worked on consumption emissions accounting for a number of years, and this form of accounting is now a very live part of international climate change negotiations. We commend the foresight of the Scottish Parliament on this issue and urge the Parliament to continue to acknowledge and measure Scotland’s consumption-based emissions. 

Keep Scotland Beautiful also support the Act’s provisions on:

-Climate Change Adaptation

-Public Bodies Duties

-Zero Waste Scotland commitments

-Accountability and reporting by the Scottish Government to the Scottish Parliament

Promoting Low Carbon Behaviours 

Keep Scotland Beautiful welcomes the work of the Scottish Government in bringing forward strategies, plans and programmes to guide and inform climate change action. These include:

-The evolving Report on Proposals and Policies work which set a route-map for meeting Scotland’s emissions reduction targets

-The evolving Scottish Climate Change Adaptation Plan, first published in 2014

-The Low Carbon Behaviours Framework and related ISM Tool

-The Zero Waste Scotland Plan 

Keep Scotland Beautiful supports and plays an active role in the implementation of:

-The Scottish Government’s on-going commitment to the Climate Challenge Fund through which Scotland is investing in community action on climate change.

-The Scottish Government’s support for the Sustainable Scotland Network to help coordinate work on the Public Bodies Climate Change Duties and to support improved public sector action on climate change.

Climate Justice

Keep Scotland Beautiful also supports the Scottish Government’s commitment to and support for Climate Justice, both internationally and within Scotland. Keep Scotland Beautiful's organisational values include a commitment to social justices, and the charity support the principal of Climate Justice whereby those most responsible for causing climate change should shoulder the costs of addressing climate change, and those most at risk from climate change should receive the most support.

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