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Chamber and committees

Question reference: S6W-05784

  • Asked by: Stephen Kerr, MSP for Central Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
  • Date lodged: 25 January 2022
  • Current status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 3 February 2022


To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to enforce the incorporation of whole life carbon into the costing of all public sector investment and spending decisions.


The Scottish Government published new guidance, Public Sector Leadership on the Global Climate Emergency , on 29 October, to provide advice for public bodies on robust, consistent and comprehensive carbon management.

The guidance says it is vital that public bodies understand the carbon impacts of their decisions and therefore embed carbon into decision-making processes. The guidance says that any investment should consider the whole life impact with regards to climate change to ensure that truly sustainable options are selected. The guidance defines whole life costing as referring to the total cost of ownership over the life of an asset and that typical areas of expenditure which are included in calculating the whole-life cost include planning, design, construction and acquisition, operations, maintenance, depreciation and cost of finance and disposal. The guidance also says that budget holders must understand and actively support a strong focus on climate considerations within procurements and that additional focus must be placed upon whole life costing.

The Climate Change (Duties of Public Bodies: Reporting Requirements) (Scotland) Amendment Order 2020 requires that, from this year, public bodies must report how they will align their spending plans and use of resources to contribute to reducing emissions and delivering emissions reduction targets.

I also refer the member to the answer to your question S5W-05786 on 31 January 2022 and the Scottish Government’s commitment to using public procurement to address the Climate Emergency. All answers to written Parliamentary Questions are available on the Parliament's website, the search facility for which can be found at .