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Policy and Legislation

Scotland is committed to achieving a 75% cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2045, see Part 1 of the Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Act 2019.

Delivering these national targets presents huge challenges in terms of the pace of action and the skills and finance required. The public sector is crucial to the implementation of national and local climate policy. Public bodies are also expected to show leadership by continuing to reduce their own emissions quickly – most sectors, including the public sector, will need to reduce emissions close to zero without offsetting for Scotland to meet its national climate change goals.

The statutory framework for public sector climate action and reporting is outlined below: the way best calculated to contribute to the delivery of Scotland’s national emissions reduction targets (known as ‘mitigation’); the way best calculated to help deliver Scotland’s statutory climate change adaptation programme; a way that it considers is most sustainable.

where applicable, the body’s target date for achieving zero direct emissions of greenhouse gases, or such other targets that demonstrate how the body is contributing to Scotland achieving its emissions reduction targets;

where applicable, targets for reducing indirect emissions of greenhouse gases;

how the body will align its spending plans and use of resources to contribute to reducing emissions and delivering its emissions reduction targets;

how the body will publish, or otherwise make available, its progress to achieving its emissions reduction targets; and

where applicable, what contribution the body has made to helping deliver Scotland’s Climate Change Adaptation Programme.

Further information:

All reports submitted since 2016 and SSN Annual Summary Analysis reports, are available here.

Public sector leadership on the global climate emergency: guidance developed by the Scottish Government and SSN, October 2021.