Climate Change Plan published

The Scottish Government published the new Climate Change Plan on Wednesday 28th February setting out how Ministers intend to meet the target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 66% by 2032.

The Plan outlines the Scottish Government’s approach to emissions reduction and climate action. This includes a commitment to a collaborative approach in which the public sector plays an important role.

The Plan states that public bodies are expected to lead by example in combating climate change, referring to the vital role they play in delivering the Plan through: influencing and enabling positive behaviours; driving change; and acting as exemplars of climate action and low carbon innovation.

The Plan references the work of the Sustainable Scotland Network and the public bodies climate change duties reporting that brings together data from Scotland’s 180 major player public bodies.

The Plan also emphasises the importance of behaviour change and the use of the ISM framework in the design and delivery of policies.

The Plan sets out emission reduction objectives, policies and proposals in the following sectors:

  • Electricity – by 2032 Scotland’s electricity sector is expected to be largely decarbonised, with cross-reference to the objectives of the recently published Scottish Energy Strategy.
  • Buildings – domestic and non-domestic building emissions expected to be cut by 23% and 53% respectively by 2032. The 53% reduction is of particular relevance to public sector bodies, with an emphasis on the Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme, The Non-Domestic Public Sector Energy Efficiency Framework, and the Scottish Energy Efficiency Programme.
  • Transport - By 2032 transport emissions are expected to be reduced by 37%, with the public sector playing an important role in the use of electric and ultra low emission vehicles, developing Scotland’s electric vehicle infrastructure, and supporting active travel.
  • Industry – expected emission reduction of 21% by 2032, with a focus on renewable heat, energy efficiency, the EU ETS and Carbon Capture and Storage.
  • Waste – objectives set for cutting emissions by 52% by 2032 through ending the landfill of biodegradable waste by January 2021, reducing food waste by 33% and 70% of all waste recycled by 2025, and by 2035 emissions being reduced through adoption of circular economy models.
  • Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry – with the new Plan expecting this to be a sink for approximately 6.9MTCO2e from 2020 onwards, through increased woodland, use of sustainable timber and improved peatland restoration.
  • Agriculture – an expected reduction of 9% of agricultural emissions through more efficient fertilizer usage and other farming efficiencies.

The emission reduction pathways set out for each sector were developed through the use of the TIMES Whole Energy System Model. Reflecting the dynamic, interconnected nature of the energy system and economy, the model produces pathways and emission envelopes which limit emissions for each sector of the economy, rather than establishing fixed sector targets. More information on this approach is detailed in the newly published Technical Annex.

Following a recommendation from the Scottish Parliament, the new Plan also outlines a new monitoring framework, with a commitment to an annual monitoring report.

For a quick overview of how the Climate Change Plan emissions pathways differ from those in the draft Plan, check out the interactive graphic provided by Carbon Brief.

The Climate Change Plan sets the framework for SSN’s work on public sector climate action.

06 March 2018


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