Scotland Policy Conferences

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Next steps for climate adaptation policy in Scotland - Government strategy | CCC assessment of progress and key issues | priorities | stakeholder roles, engagement and coordination | achieving a just transition across Scotland

June 2024

Price: £150 PLUS VAT

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

It was an opportunity to discuss key issues at a time of heightened focus on this area of policy in the run up to the General Election.

It brought together stakeholders and policymakers to discuss priorities for Scotland’s third National Adaptation Plan (SNAP3), as well as implications from the Scottish Government dropping its target of a 75% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

The conference discussed key themes from the ongoing SNAP3 consultation, including the way forward for collaboration with local communities and public service bodies. Delegates will also assessed 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 also assessed 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 included accelerating implementation of climate change adaptation strategies, improving data collection and monitoring, and securing public and private investment in adaptation.

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

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

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

Keynote speakers who have agree to take part include: Catriona Laing, Deputy Director of Energy and Climate Change, The Scottish Government; 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. We are re-confirming the availability of speakers in the pre-election period.

Overall, areas for discussion included:

  • 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 was an opportunity for stakeholders to consider the issues in the presence of key policy officials who attended from The Scottish Government; Scottish Procurement and Property Directorate; Transport Scotland; Defra; DESNZ; DLUHC; DfC, NI; DfE, NI; DfT; CMA; DAERA, NI; DBT; DoF, NI; ORR; Ofwat; POST; and the Welsh Government - as well as parliamentary pass-holders from the House of Commons.

This on-demand pack includes

  • A full video recording of the conference as it took place, with all presentations, Q&A sessions, and remarks from chairs
  • An automated transcript of the conference
  • Copies of the slides used to accompany speaker presentations (subject to permission
  • Access to on-the-day materialfs, including speaker biographies, attendee lists and the agenda