Question reference: S5W-23544
- Asked by: John Finnie, MSP for Highlands and Islands, Scottish Green Party
- Date lodged: 30 May 2019
Current status: Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 7 June 2019
To ask the Scottish Government, in light of it declaring a climate emergency and committing to review all its policies, how long it expects this assessment to take and for action to be taken to ensure that coastal communities in the Western Isles are adequately protected.
We are reviewing policies across government to feed into the update of the Climate Change Plan, which we have committed to publishing within six months of the Climate Change Bill receiving Royal Assent.
We will also build on our world-leading ambition and achievements on climate change by publishing a second Scottish Climate Change Adaptation Programme (SCCAP2) in autumn 2019 to ensure our communities, economy, natural and historic environment are resilient to Scotland’s already changing climate. SCCAP2 includes policies and proposals to help our coastal communities, such as the Scottish Government’s Dynamic Coast 2 project. This project, which will be launched in 2020, will assess the impacts of climate change on accelerating erosion rates. It will include developing mitigation, adaptation and resilience plans at seven super sites, including Tiree.
The Islands (Scotland) Act 2018 provides a number of areas for improving outcomes for island communities including environmental wellbeing. The Act also includes provisions to develop a National Islands Plan and a duty for certain authorities, including Scottish Ministers, to have regard to island communities in carrying out their functions. We are currently conducting a wide consultation process taking into account the unique context of each island, whilst addressing the particular challenges faced by islands and their communities. The National Islands Plan also seeks to safeguard nature on the islands, by highlighting the importance of environmental protection.