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Scotland's Action on Climate Change

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Climate Change

Scotland is a world leader on tackling climate change and Scotland’s transition to a more prosperous, low carbon economy is already well underway. We have created jobs and backed innovative, new industries while winning international respect for our ambition and leadership on climate change.

The Scottish Government is committed to playing its part in the Paris Agreement, which central aim is to keep global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Analysis by the International Finance Corporation indicates that the Paris Agreement will help open up $23tn worth of opportunities for climate-smart investments in emerging markets between 2016 and 2030.

By increasing our long-term targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 90% by 2050, the new Climate Change Bill will continue to provide the necessary certainty and impetus to markets, businesses and industries to shift towards low-carbon technologies and practices.

On 28 February 2018, the Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform published The Climate Change Plan: Third Report on Policies and Proposals 2018-2032 which details how the Scottish Government will continue to drive progress towards the current emissions reduction target of 80% by 2050.

On 5 September 2017, the First Minister launched the Programme for Government 2017-18, which sets out bold commitments to decarbonise our economy and places Scotland firmly at the forefront of the global fight against climate change.  The Scottish Government will establish a Just Transition Commission to advise Scottish Ministers on the move towards a low carbon economy.

Scotland’s transition to a low carbon society can only be achieved with everyone’s input. We need government, businesses, public sector, and individuals to play their part. Through our behaviours and engagement programme we are supporting and empowering organisations and communities across Scotland in adapting to and delivering local solutions to climate change.

Climate change disproportionately affects the world’s most vulnerable, who have contributed the least to the issue. The Scottish Government run a number of international programmes to engage on climate change at all levels, including climate justice programmes.

Climate change is already happening and raising multiple adaptation challenges. In 2018-19 we will publish the fourth annual progress report on the first Scottish Climate Change Adaptation Programme and prepare the second Scottish Climate Change Adaptation Programme. This will highlight our adaptation priorities going forward.

What's New

On 12 June 2018, the Scottish Government published data on Scottish Greenhouse Gas Emissions for 2016.


On 28 February 2018, the Scottish Government published The Climate Change Plan: The Third Report on Proposals and Policies 2018-2032.


On 31 October 2017, the Scottish Government published The Scottish Greenhouse Gas Emissions Annual Target Report for 2015.


On 13 June 2017, the Scottish Government published data on Scottish Greenhouse Gas Emissions for 2015.


On 22 March 2017, the UK Committee on Climate Change published advice to Scottish Government on the new Climate Change Bill.


On 20 February 2017, almost £10 million of funding was awarded from the Climate Challenge Fund for 113 community-led projects to support local action to tackle climate change.


On 19 January 2017, the draft Climate Change Plan (the draft third report on proposals and policies (RPP3) for meeting Scotland’s annual greenhouse gas emissions targets) was laid in the Scottish Parliament.  The draft Plan is subject to a 60-day period of Parliamentary scrutiny.

On 19 December 2016, details of funding for climate change mitigation measures in 2017-18 were published.

On 21 September 2016, we published a Climate Change Public Conversation series - Climate Conversations "How to" Guide and resources, an evidence based practical guide to holding public conversations about climate change.


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