Scotland Policy Conferences

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Next steps for climate adaptation policy in Scotland

Morning, Wednesday, 29th May 2024

This conference focuses on the future for climate change policy in Scotland and immediate challenges for adaptation going forward.

It is bringing together stakeholders and policymakers to discuss priorities for Scotland’s third National Adaptation Plan (SNAP3).

The conference will discuss key themes from ongoing SNAP3 consultation, including the ways forward for collaboration involving local communities and public health boards. Delegates will also assess regulatory approaches and incentives for engaging business and the private sector to contribute to climate resilience, and to factor best practice in this area into organisational strategy.

Delegates will also assess priorities following the Climate Change Committee’s recent reports - Adapting to climate change: Progress in Scotland and Progress in reducing emissions in Scotland - looking at next steps for addressing challenges that have contributed to Scotland repeatedly missing its annual emissions targets. Areas for discussion include accelerating implementation of climate change adaptation strategies, improving data collection and monitoring, and securing public and private investment in adaptation.

Following the recent publication of the Scottish Water Climate Change Adaptation Plan 2024, delegates will also discuss the role of adaptation in key services and utilities, looking at mitigating adverse impact of climate change on drought, deteriorating water quality, flooding, pollution, and waste water and environmental quality.

The conference will be an opportunity to examine the role and implementation of proposed nature networks and agricultural reform, as well as severe weather defence, in improving Scotland’s resilience.

Further sessions focus on opportunities for maximising benefits of climate adaptation, as well as what support local authorities will need in implementing adaptation strategies and Local Development Plans. Delegates will assess next steps for improving public health and wellbeing by utilising more cost effective, nature-based solutions. Speakers will also discuss what is needed to enable a just transition.

We are pleased to be able to include keynote sessions with: Catriona Laing, Deputy Director of Energy and Climate Change, The Scottish Government; Richard Millar, Head of Adaptation, Climate Change Committee; Dr Deborah Long, Just Transition Commissioner; and Chief Officer, Scottish Environment LINK; and Dr Roddy Yarr, Convener, Climate Ready Clyde; and Director of Sustainability, University of Glasgow.

Overall, areas for discussion include:

  • assessing progress: key issues identified by the Climate Change Committee - implications for policy and stakeholders - accelerating implementation - monitoring - best practice - investment
  • SNAP3: key themes in consultation responses - public health - National Flood Resilience Strategy
  • coordination: creating a joined-up approach - place-based initiatives - engaging the private sector - regenerative agriculture - connecting nature networks
  • strategic priorities:
    • investment in long-term adaptation strategies - flood and heat resilience - adapting Scotland’s water supply and system - bolstering Scotland’s energy infrastructure - environmental protection
    • incentivising agricultural resilience and sustainable practice - reducing variation and protecting island communities - improving monitoring and evaluation
  • innovation: priorities for research - support for rollout of new technology and processes - evaluation and monitoring of impact to ensure safe adoption - options for adopting AI
  • just transition: achieving an effective approach to climate resilience and adaptation that optimises fairness to all - addressing inequalities - accounting for stakeholder views in decision-making

The conference will be an opportunity for stakeholders to consider the issues alongside key policy officials who are due to attend from The Scottish Government; Transport Scotland; Defra; DESNZ; DfT; CMA; DAERA, NI; DBT; DoF, NI; POST; and the Welsh Government.

Keynote Speaker

Dr Deborah Long

Just Transition Commissioner; and Chief Officer, Scottish Environment LINK

Keynote Speakers

Richard Millar

Head of Adaptation, Climate Change Committee

Dr Deborah Long

Just Transition Commissioner; and Chief Officer, Scottish Environment LINK

Dr Roddy Yarr

Convener, Climate Ready Clyde; and Director of Sustainability, University of Glasgow

Catriona Laing

Deputy Director of Energy and Climate Change, The Scottish Government


Councillor Heather Anderson

Climate, Environment and Biodiversity Committee, and Dundee Climate Leadership Group, Dundee City Council

Alan Hendry

Director of Sustainability, Mott MacDonald

Dr Clive Mitchell

Head of Terrestrial Science, NatureScot

Dr Mark Williams

Head of Sustainability and Climate Change, Scottish Water; and Vice-Chair, Sustainable Scotland Network