• 28 February 2024

News Release

28 February 2024


Future Scottish Government Climate Change Plans must be compliant with the law


Today, Environmental Standards Scotland (ESS) has released a report, “Consideration of the effectiveness of the Scottish Government’s Climate Change Plan”. The report details the need for the Scottish Government’s next Climate Change Plan to meet fully the requirements of the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009, as amended in 2019.

This conclusion comes in the wake of ESS’ finding that the previous Climate Change Plan published by the Scottish Government in 2021 failed to meet two requirements of Section 35 of the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009. Specifically, it failed to:

  • quantify the emission reductions associated with all individual proposals and policies
  • provide a timeline for all individual proposals and policies to take effect

ESS calls for the Scottish Government’s next Climate Change Plan – due to be presented for public consultation later this year – to address these two failings.


Mark Roberts, CEO of ESS, said:

“Scotland has strong climate change legislation. To be effective, it has to be implemented fully. This report lays down a marker for the Scottish Government to ensure that their next Climate Change Plan meets the requirements of it in law. The next plan must not only address the shortcomings of the previous one, but must go further by ensuring it meets the requirements of the 2009 Act in full.

“The previous climate change plan in 2021 received hundreds of suggested recommendations from four committees of the Scottish Parliament and the Climate Change Committee. The Scottish Government must address these ahead of the publication of its next Climate Change Plan.

“ESS looks forward to reviewing the new draft Climate Change Plan when the Scottish Government presents it for consultation later this year. ESS will report on the draft plan and act as it considers necessary.”




Notes to Editors

i) The Scottish Government last published a Climate Change Plan in 2021 when they updated the 2018 Climate Change Plan. This is known as the CCPu.

ii) The Scottish Parliament’s Session 5 Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee (ECCLR Committee) acknowledged that the 2021 CCPu did not have to incorporate all the new requirements of the 2019 Act, as it was an update of the 2018 Climate Change Plan.

iii) You can read the full ESS report here: Environmental Standards Scotland – Climate Change Plan

iv) For more information please contact ess@smarts.agency | 07866 694 021

v) About Environmental Standards Scotland

Environmental Standards Scotland (ESS) is a public sector body, set up as a non-ministerial office, independent of Scottish Government, and accountable to the Scottish Parliament.

ESS has been set up to ensure environmental laws and standards are adhered to in Scotland, replacing the European Union’s scrutiny and enforcement role after Brexit.

Environmental Standards Scotland (ESS) was established in law by the UK Withdrawal from the European Union (Continuity) (Scotland) Act 2021.

ESS’ role is to scrutinise, investigate and secure improvements in public authorities’ compliance with environmental law, the effectiveness of environmental law, and the way it is being implemented and applied in Scotland.

All public authorities are covered, including the Scottish Government and its agencies, as well as organisations carrying out functions on behalf of public authorities.

A broad range of environmental law is covered, including all aspects of environmental protection and harm, particularly in relation human beings and their enjoyment of the environment.

Our Board operates under Standing Orders and we have a framework agreement with the Scottish Government.

For more information visit environmentalstandards.scot.

Back to top