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Scotland's Action on Climate Change

Contact Us

Decarbonisation Division
Area 3J South
Victoria Quay
Edinburgh EH6 6QQ

E-mail: climate.change@gov.scot

Scottish Government's Climate Change Twitter Policy

Climate Change

Ambition to tackle climate change is at the heart of the Scottish Government’s aim to create a growing, sustainable and inclusive economy.  There is increasing recognition that taking action can provide wide economic and social benefits, such as new jobs, improved air quality, and positive health outcomes.

The Climate Change (Scotland) Act passed by the Scottish Parliament in 2009 helped to establish Scotland as a world-leader in tackling climate change.  Since then, Scotland has made sustained progress against the ambitious targets set under the Act.  Scottish Greenhouse Gas Emissions statistics are published annually and an annual target report setting out whether each annual target has been met is laid in the Scottish Parliament.  The independent Committee on Climate Change also produces an annual progress report on reducing emissions in Scotland. 

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Paris Agreement was agreed in December 2015 at the 21st Conference of the Parties in Paris. The Agreement’s central aim is to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping a 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.

The Scottish Government is committed to playing its part in limiting global temperature rises by decarbonising the Scottish economy.  It does this in the context of evidence from the International Finance Corporation that indicates that the Paris Agreement will help open up $23 trillion worth of opportunities for climate-smart investments in emerging markets between now and 2030.

The Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 requires the Scottish Government to publish regular plans for meeting our emission reduction targets.  The Scottish Government is in the process of finalising its third Climate Change Plan, setting out proposals and policies to drive emissions down by 66% by 2032.  The final Plan is expected in early 2018.

The Scottish Government has set out proposals for a Climate Change Bill, to be introduced this parliamentary year, that will set even more ambitious targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and ensure that we meet our obligations under the Paris Agreement. A public consultation on these proposals closed on 22nd September and the Scottish Government will be setting out its response in due course.

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.

What's New

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.

On 13 September 2016, the Cabinet Secretary wrote to the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee agreeing to delay publication of the draft Climate Change Plan until January 2017.  The Committee had written to the Cabinet Secretary requesting a delay to publication on 6 September.

On 14 June 2016, the Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform wrote to the Chair of the UK Committee on Climate Change requesting advice on Scotland’s future targets in response to the Paris agreement.

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