“Scotland, with its rich renewable resources, world class research base, experience in the oil and gas industry and leading financial institutions, has much to gain from the move to a low-carbon society. We’re on the verge of a new form of industrial revolution and Scotland could benefit from novel economic opportunities, increased energy security and better use of resources to build stronger, more sustainable communities” comments Professor David Sugden, Chair of the RSE’s Inquiry.
Facing up to Climate Change: breaking the barriers to a low-carbon Scotland identifies the obstacles that are stopping us from taking steps towards a low-carbon society. It recognises that there is a wealth of activity at EU, UK and Scottish level, including in local authorities, communities, households and civil society, but that there is an acute need for coherence and integration between these levels.
The Inquiry Report, launched on 1 March 2011, sets out 10 Primary Recommendations aimed at helping policy makers to design policy in such a way that it overcomes the barriers. It calls for government and organisations to embed low-carbon policies across all functions and for closer engagement between people, civil society, market and state.
This Report is the result of an extensive consultation process across Scotland during which evidence was taken from over 110 public, private and third sector organisations, as well as from around 40 individuals, a number of public meetings around Scotland, involving some 400 people, and a national Schools’ Competition. It has been formulated by a Committee chaired by Professor Sugden, an internationally renowned climate scientist based at Edinburgh University, with members whose expertise covers the natural and social sciences, business, policy and education.
The Report considers the issues of climate change, sustainability and opportunities for creating a more sustainable, fairer world. It looks at the science of climate change and its implications at both a global and Scottish scale and outlines the economic, social and environmental contexts that will shape Scotland’s move to a low-carbon future. The Report then focuses on the findings of the Inquiry and the implications for Scotland, looking first to public bodies (local authorities, education, water), then to key economic sectors (finance, energy, other industry, heating, transport and land use).
Finally the Report looks at the pervasive challenges arising from multi-level governance and how they may be addressed. It is this analysis that forms the basis of our ten Primary Recommendations, and sets out also 30 Supplementary Recommendations aimed at policy makers in the specific sectors outlined above.