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Press Release 26 August 2019 Updated 3 November 2020

Twelve point plan to tackle Scotland’s climate emergency

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Please note that this page contains information and links most relevant for people living in Scotland.

**Update 04/09/2019**

Following last week’s release of its 12-point plan, the Climate Emergency Response Group, a group of civic and business leaders of which Energy Saving Trust is a member welcomes the news that the Scottish Government in its  Programme for Government , released Tuesday 3 September 2019, is looking to continue to collaborate in working together to mitigate and further tackle Scotland’s contribution to climate change.

Mike Thornton, group director of operations at Energy Saving Trust, said: “We are heartened and excited by the focus on the climate emergency in the  Programme for Government and pleased that the Scottish Government has backed several of the actions recommended by the Climate Emergency Response Group of which we are part. The Energy Saving Trust look forward to continuing to support the Scottish Government in delivering a wide variety of programmes that tackle climate change.”

The Climate Emergency Group brings together leaders and influencers from across different sectors in Scotland, spanning private, public sector, third sector, delivery organisations and membership bodies. The group stands ready to support the government’s efforts and will continue to engage in discussions on developing and taking forward these actions.

Climate Emergency Response Group – 12 point plan

On Monday 26 August 2019, the Climate Emergency Response Group, a group of civic and business leaders that Energy Saving Trust is a member of, released a 12- point plan [1] of the key actions that the Scottish Government needs to undertake in its forthcoming Programme for Government, if we’re to avoid breaching 1.5oC of warming, which would mean disaster for people and nature around the world [2].

The 12 actions are summarised as follows:

  • Mobilise the £11 billion of annual public procurement to support the product and service innovation the climate emergency response needs
  • Produce public guidance on sustainable, climate-friendly, healthy diets
  • A £100 million Agricultural Modernisation Fund
  • Make regional land use plans for maximising the potential of every part of Scotland’s land to contribute to the fight against climate change
  • Initiate four new Green City Region Deals
  • Signal that every one of Scotland’s city centres will be vehicle emission free by 2030
  • Establish a public-interest company to invest in and operate Carbon Capture and Storage infrastructure
  • Enhance building standards to deliver zero-carbon homes and buildings
  • Accelerate Scotland’s energy efficiency retrofit scheme, using regulation and public funding to support almost all homes and buildings in Scotland to reach at least EPC Band C by 2030 and zero-carbon by 2045
  • Create a Scottish Heat Pump Sector Deal that provides clear long-term market signals for the accelerated installation of heat pumps in Scotland
  • Complete plans for how we generate the renewable electricity needed to reach net-zero climate emissions
  • Dedicate the Scottish National Investment Bank to delivering on the Climate Emergency

The group says that these actions can all be taken forward with urgency by Ministers, are in line with the scale of climate crisis we face and will help make Scotland a better place to live and work.

The Scottish Government has said that the Programme for Government will set out important further detail on Scotland’s declaration of a climate emergency, and the Government’s response. [3]

The Climate Emergency Group [4] brings together leaders and influencers from across different sectors in Scotland, spanning private, public sector, third sector, delivery organisations and membership bodies. The group’s members welcome the First Minister’s commitment to net zero greenhouse gas emissions in Scotland by 2045, and want to support the action that requires.

Claire Mack, Chief Executive, Scottish Renewables said:

“We are already witnessing the effects of climate change, and now is the moment when we must accelerate our response if we are to avoid the worst effects and secure the many social and economic benefits of moving to a climate neutral economy.  This is the time for us all to support strong changes to policy and programmes in response to the climate emergency, and this report sets out our initial recommendations for the Scottish Government’s leadership role.” The adoption of these policies by the Scottish Government would demonstrate world-leading commitment, slashing our emissions and showing where the rest of the world can follow us.”

Teresa Bray, Chief Executive, Changeworks said:

“Scotland has a proud record of leading the way.  We did so in the industrial revolution, now it is time for us to do so in the face of a climate emergency.  The International Panel on Climate Change has said that we have just 12 years left to get ourselves on a pathway to avoid breaching 1.5 degrees of warming, a disaster for people and nature. That’s only 2,000 working days – an extreme time scale to accelerate action. But, as the actions we are recommending show, it is achievable and can be a huge social and economic opportunity for Scotland.”

Daisy Narayanan, Director of Urbanism, Sustrans said:

“These actions will help everyone – individuals, communities and business – to adopt low carbon lifestyles and support a more prosperous society and economy. Transformations to make our cities more liveable, warm homes for all, low carbon diets and support to help farmers meet these new demands – these policies must be the next steps in a just transition to an economically successful and climate-friendly Scotland.”

Sarah-Jane Laing, Executive Director, Scottish Land & Estates said:

“Scotland’s land, and the people who care for and manage it, can play a vital role in Scotland’s climate emergency response. Tree planting, the restoration of peatlands and soils, and productive, efficient and sustainable agriculture, all offer long-term economic opportunities for Scotland’s rural areas. Supporting Scotland’s land managers and farmers with preparing for new opportunities and for the future must be a priority in the Scottish Government’s response to the climate emergency.”

Kathryn Dapré, Head of Energy and Sustainability, NHS National Services Scotland and Chair of the Sustainable Scotland Network said:

“This set of recommendations for action to respond to the climate emergency are ready to be implemented now and have broad support.  These actions will slash emissions and, importantly, also contribute significantly to other many social, economic and wider environmental benefits – for example improved public health, creating jobs, alleviating fuel poverty, reducing air pollution, and making our towns and cities better places to live for everyone.”

Lynette Purves, Chair of 2050 Climate Group said:

“Everyone wins if we tackle the climate emergency. This is especially true for our young people, who hold the greatest stake in our planet’s future. Young people all across the world are calling upon those in power to act urgently to tackle the climate crisis, and, by their inspiring actions, they have brought the matter into the spotlight on a global scale. On behalf of the young climate leaders in our organisation, we proudly support immediate action in order to accelerate our progress to a just and sustainable society.”


Notes to Editors

[1] 12 immediate actions for Scotland’s climate emergency response

[2] IPCC report on Global Warming of 1.5 degrees

[3] The Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, Roseanna Cunningham MSP, told the Scottish Parliament, “This Scottish Government, will be placing climate change at the heart of everything we do. I can confirm that it will be at the core of our next Programme for Government and Spending Review.” In a statement on the “The Global Climate Emergency – Scotland’s Response” on the 14 May 2019.

[4] The Climate Emergency Response Group brings together leaders and influencers in Scottish society who welcome the First Minister’s commitment to net zero greenhouse gas emissions in Scotland by 2045, and who believe the time is right to support strong changes to policy and programmes in response to the climate emergency. The organisations supporting the process and work of CERG are: Changeworks, Climate-KIC, Confor, Energy Saving Trust, Everwarm, Jacobs, Locogen, NHS National Services Scotland, Scottish Council for Development and Industry, Scottish Land & Estates, Scottish Renewables, Sustainable Scotland Network, Star Renewable Energy, Sunamp Heat Batteries, Sustrans, University of Edinburgh, Vegware, WWF Scotland, 2050 Climate Group

[5] Scottish Government’s Programme for Government expected to be published on Tuesday 3 September 2019

Last updated: 3 November 2020