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SSN Action Groups share their findings

Three SSN Action Groups were established at the end of 2018, meeting over the following year to explore areas of finance, governance and reporting. The groups, led by SSN members, worked to harness the knowledge and experience of the network, identify practical resources for members and make strategic recommendations to a wider audience.

Transition to a green financial system

Bringing together expertise from a range of organisations, the Finance Action Group met to explore the challenges of finance across the public sector, sharing their experience and working to identify solutions.

Achieving a sustainable net zero future will require significant mobilisation and re-channelling of investment and partnership working to take projects to scale. Public finance and traditional sources available to the public sector will be key but will not be enough on their own. New, innovative sources of investment will be required. Funding sources which are more accessible to the public sector are limited, and proposals have to fit tight criteria. Instead, investment should work to the proposals and projects presented. In addition, a lack of expertise and confidence in the areas of financing and understanding of the various alternative financing options is common across the public sector.

The group produced tools aimed to support members in their understanding and learning of public funding. A short financial glossary was created by the group to provide a succinct explanation of commonly used financial terms, alongside a library of useful resources. The group have compiled known sources of finance and investment in a public sector funding guidance document.

Full feedback and tools from the Finance Action Group are available on the SSN website.

Good governance for reaching our greenhouse gas goals

The Governance Action Group brought together SSN members from a variety of public sector organisations. The group worked with public sector representatives and external professionals to develop a wider view of effective governance and climate leadership.

Good governance is essential for reaching our greenhouse gas goals. It is critical to establish clear governance frameworks to enable decision making and leadership on climate change and sustainability yet still allowing the flexibility to respond to the rapidly changing agenda. With a wide variety of experience of different governance structures, the group recognised that there can be no ‘one size fits all’ approach in finding a governance solution.

To offer some guidance and support to members, the group created a tool aimed to help organisations reflect on their own governance structures as well as top tips to build effective governance and decision making.

Full feedback and tools from the Governance Action Group can be found on the SSN website.

Driving forward improvements in reporting standards and practices

The Reporting Action Group facilitated a peer-to-peer knowledge exchange amongst members involved in Public Bodies Climate Change Duties Reporting. The group centred their discussion around the challenges of adopting standardised approaches to target setting and monitoring across and within the different sectors, to enable better analyses of performance and trends year on year.

The group highlighted the need for a government roadmap with clear timeframes and expectations of targets as well as support for target setting including regional/sectoral targets to encourage partnership and collaboration. The full recommendations and comments from the Reporting Action Group can be found here.

With thanks to Claudia Cowie, Lesley Hinshelwood, Lorna Jarvie and Martin Kirkwood for their work in leading their respective groups and to each of the participants who contributed.

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