Behaviour change the key to meeting ambitious climate change targets, according to the Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee

22.03.2013

A step change is required in societal behaviour if Scotland is to meet ambitious climate change targets relating to housing and transport, according to a report by the Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee.

The Scottish Government’s draft second report on proposals and policies (RPP2) sets out how Scotland’s climate change targets will be met. Four parliamentary Committees have been scrutinising the document and today publish their findings. 

Committee Convener, Maureen Watt MSP said:

“Firstly, this Committee wants to welcome the Scottish Government’s efforts in setting out its proposals and policies for meeting Scotland’s world leading climate change targets up to 2027.

“The transformational change needed to meet these challenging targets in relation to housing and transport not only requires the Scottish Government to have an ambitious approach but society as a whole. 

“We must recognise that each and every one of us has a responsibility to help tackle climate change and deliver the step change needed for Scotland to meet these challenging targets.”

In summary, the Committee’s report made the following conclusions:

  • Progress since RPP1. The Committee is concerned that the draft RPP2 does not allow for a robust assessment of progress on proposals and policies, particularly in relation to the transport sector, since the publication of RPP1.  It recommends that the Scottish Government, in publishing the final RPP2, ensures that the format of the report is clear and transparent and contains sufficient information to allow for a proper assessment of progress made.
  • Homes and communities. The Committee believes that the Scottish Government must ensure that a more strategic approach is adopted across the range of housing policies and initiatives designed to combat climate change.  The Committee agrees that a combination of funding incentives and regulation will be required if Scotland is to achieve the transformational change required to meet its domestic energy efficiency targets set out in the draft RPP2.
  • Transport. Whilst the Committee heard evidence calling for more to be done within the transport sector to help meet the climate change targets, it understands the very real challenges involved. It shares the view that if progress is to be made in this sector this will require a flexible approach and one which can respond to emerging technologies and innovations. The Committee has heard of the wide range of currently funded initiatives relating to the decarbonisation of vehicles, promoting sustainable communities and encouraging behavioural change and believes that initiatives such as these are key to achieving the behavioural change needed if the ambitious targets to 2027 are to be met.

Background

On 29 January 2013, the Scottish Government published Low Carbon Scotland: Meeting our Emissions Reduction Targets 2013-2027 – The Draft Second Report on Proposals and Policies (RPP2). This was accompanied by a technical annex which provides methodological and technical detail that underpins the draft RPP2.

The RPP2 is required under section 35 of the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 (the Act). The Act states that the RPP2 must set out proposals and policies for meeting annual emissions reduction targets; how the proposals and policies will contribute towards the interim target and the 2050 target, and the timescales over which they are expected to take effect.

Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 was passed by the Scottish Parliament in June 2009. It provides a statutory framework under which to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases in Scotland by setting an interim 42 per cent reduction target for 2020 ( with Scottish Ministers having powers to vary this target based on expert advice) and an 80 per cent reduction target for 2050. To help ensure the delivery of these targets, the Act also requires the Scottish Ministers to set annual targets for Scottish emissions from 2010 to 2050.

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