Our comments on the Climate Change Plan

The Scottish Government's Climate Change Plan was discussed in Parliament today, 06 March 2018, following a Ministerial Statement made by Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, Roseanna Cunningham MSP.

The Climate Change Plan, sets out proposals and policies for how Scotland will meet annual climate change targets between now and 2032. 

Building on the previous reports published in 2011 and 2013, it is part of the strategic framework for the transition to a low carbon Scotland and includes policies and proposals to reduce emissions from electricity generation, buildings, transport, industry, waste, land use and agriculture.   

Derek Robertson, our Chief Executive commented: “Across Scotland, and around the world, people are already feeling the impacts of a changing climate, particularly more extreme weather events.  So, we welcome the recently published Climate Change Plan, in particular its links to the global ambitions of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the proposed support of communities and young people and increased focus on public engagement and behaviour change.  The Plan is strong on Natural Capital and our general environment, including the importance of biodiversity and makes good links to the importance of the quality of the places we live through the Planning Bill. 

“We are delighted to see that The Plan presents routes for our communities across Scotland to become more engaged and take action by accessing the Climate Challenge Fund, and via the promotion and use of tools such as Climate Conversations and the use of the ISM model.  We will continue to work in partnership with the public, private and community sector to help us meet future climate change targets which will also deliver sustainable economic development and associated wider community cohesion benefits.

“It is also heartening to see that Scotland’s public bodies are recognised as being critical to the successful deliver of the Plan.  All 180 reported their carbon emissions under the Climate Change (Scotland) 2009 Act, and the first full Analysis Report produced by our Sustainable Scotland Network team has been published highlighting the efforts they have made in reducing carbon emissions already.

“But, we recognise that the scale of ambition and detailed policies needed to deliver a truly low carbon Scotland, and which were hoped for could have been stronger.   The ambition of The Plan appears to have decreased from its first draft, published in 2017, in areas such as reducing emissions from our homes and supporting farmers to reduce their climate impacts.

“In order to transition to a low carbon Scotland, we all need to play our part and we must ensure a continued and collective effort to meet our country’s ambitious targets.

“We know that the upcoming Climate Change Bill provides us all with an opportunity to push for more ambitious and detailed new policies that will deliver multiple benefits for the economy, public health and our environment. The Bill will also allow us to firmly commit to a pathway that leads to zero emissions in the future.”

As your charity for the environment we are committed to continuing to support and empower communities and young people, particularly through our Eco-Schools Scotland programme to adopt low carbon behaviours and lifestyles to reduce carbon emissions.   As a charity which has already woven the Global Goals through our purpose we are now working to encourage others to do the same, our ambition is to influence and support all sectors to transition to a low carbon society as we move forwards to 2032.

Find out more about how you can reduce carbon emissions through the work we are doing:

Supporting public bodies and organisations to report and take action on, climate change through the Sustainable Scotland Network.

Supporting communities to take action on climate change through the Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund which has made awards of over £85.8 million to 986 community-led organisations since 2008.

Increasing knowledge about climate change and ways to help tackle it through Carbon Literacy Training which we currently offer for communities and plan to expand to schools and businesses this year.

Educating the next generation about climate change and how they can take action through Eco-Schools Scotland linking to the Global Goals.

You can find out more about climate change and ways to take action to help Scotland meet its climate change targets at or download the 'Guide to climate change' leaflet.









06 March 2018


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