This is the Scottish Government’s second report on proposals and policies (RPP2) for meeting its climate change targets. It sets out how Scotland can deliver its statutory annual targets for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions for the period 2013–2027 set through the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009. The Climate Change (Scotland) Act is the most ambitious piece of climate change legislation anywhere in the world and remains an inspiration to many. The Act sets a world leading target of at least 42% emissions reductions by 2020, compared to the equivalent UK target of 34%. And, unlike the UK Act, Scotland’s framework includes annual targets. Unlike the position in Wales, our targets also cover our whole economy and not just those areas where legislative power is devolved. To our knowledge, the Scottish Government is the only government that is held to account by its legislature in each and every year.
Scotland is at the top of the European league table for emissions reductions and are leading the way to a Low Carbon Society. However, we know that the challenge remains an ambitious one and we need to continue looking for new opportunities to accelerate our society’s transition to a low carbon future.
Our Vision for Scotland:
1) Our vision is for a largely decarbonised electricity generation sector by 2030, using renewable sources for electricity generation with other electricity generation from fossil-fuelled plants utilising carbon capture and storage. To date, the carbon intensity of electricity generation has fallen from 347 gCO2/kWh in 2010 to 289 gCO2/kWh in 2011 and we are on track to a further 83% reduction in carbon intensity by 2030. We are also looking forward to a largely decarbonised heat sector with significant progress by 2030, through a combination of reduced demand and energy efficiency, together with a massive increase in the use of renewable or low carbon heating.
2) We are aiming for almost complete decarbonisation of road transport by 2050, with significant progress by 2030 through wholesale adoption of electric cars and vans, as well as significant further modal shift towards public transport and active travel, and significant decarbonisation of rail services.
3) By 2030 there will be a step-change in provision of energy efficient homes to 2030 through retrofit of existing housing and improved building regulations for new build homes. We will also have made significant progress in transforming energy use in industry, business and the public sectors by 2027, through energy efficiency, the use of low carbon electricity and our ambition in Scotland for a largely decarbonised heat sector by 2050, with significant progress by 2030.
4) We have already made significant progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the waste management sector. By 2025 at least 70% of all Scotland’s waste will be recycled and by 2050, waste as we know it now will have been effectively designed out of our economy.
5) By 2027 land managers will have further optimised the productive use of natural resources, producing food and delivering public goods, such as protecting the natural environment and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We will also have enhanced natural carbon capture through an expansion of our woodland and significantly more conservation of our peatlands.
Planning for RPP3:
RPP3 is planned to lay a draft setting out proposals and policies for meeting targets to 2032 in the Parliament towards the end of 2016. RPP3 will also set out proposals and policies to compensate in future years for the excess emissions from previous annual targets.
The draft RPP3 will be published after the next batch of annual targets, covering the period for 2028 to 2032, are set in legislation no later than 31 October 2016. Advice on the next set of greenhouse gas annual targets is expected from the Committee on Climate Change in March 2016 and, to inform this advice, the Committee have recently issued a call for evidence.
The production of RPP3 is intended to be a wide participative process that builds collective ownership and responsibility. With engagement focused on two key workstreams, climate conversations and engagement on potential scenarios, and engaging across a wide range of audiences, including the public, community groups, climate change stakeholders, businesses, the public sector and Scottish Parliament (including MSP’s and parliamentary Committees).
A key element of RPP3 engagement is having a conversation with people across Scotland on their views on climate change and the actions we can take. These conversations will explore public knowledge of, attitudes toward, and engagement with, climate change.
A framework for holding conversations on climate change is in development, and will deliver a clear narrative for communicating climate change, materials to aid hosting a conversation, and a series of test conversations. The framework will enable the Scottish Government, and partners, to initiate constructive conversations with the public across Scotland and engage with them on climate change in 2016 and beyond. Findings from these conversations will inform and feed into the development and communication of RPP3.
Initial focus groups will be running up to March, with plans already in place for conversations with the general public, and in development for some specific audiences including young leaders, communities affected by adaptation and black and ethnic minority communities.
To support the delivery of RPP3, a Whole Systems Energy Model is being developed that will enable analysts to model pathways towards decarbonisation of the Scottish economy out to 2050; whilst servicing demands for energy and maintaining energy security. Using a public facing version of the model, a series of facilitated discussions will be taken forward over summer 2016. These discussions will be an opportunity to delve deeper into potential proposals and policies to address climate change and the future transition to a sustainable low carbon society in Scotland.
With a wide range of activities planned over the next year through the climate conversations and engagement on potential scenarios to achieve the climate change targets,
the next phase of engagement will draw this insight and experience together to offer opportunities for further reflection and input into the RPP3 process.