Green Recovery - call for views

Please respond to the call for views in the template provided further down the page.

Introduction

A green, just and resilient recovery has been highlighted by Governments across the world, including the Scottish Government, as essential in effectively responding to the current challenges of the COVID-19 health crisis (including the social and economic challenges).

The Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform (ECCLR) Committee has agreed to launch an open Call for Views on green recovery, focusing on identifying the principles, opportunities, key actions for change, immediate priorities, leadership and governance needed to underpin an effective green recovery, as well as the potential barriers to implementation.

Background

In April 2019 the First Minister declared a climate emergency. Since then, the Scottish Government has set a net-zero greenhouse gas emissions target for 2045, and the Just Transition Commission has made interim recommendations for “growing an inclusive, net-zero economy”. Following the adoption of the net-zero target, and testing interim targets of 75% by 2030 and 90% by 2040, the First Minister undertook to update the CCP.

Before the COVID-19 health crisis, a number of parliamentary committees had agreed a joint approach to scrutinising the Climate Change Plan (CCP) update which was expected in April 2020. They were:

• Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee
• Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee
• Local Government and Communities Committee
• Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee

However, the Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform wrote to the Committee on 1 April 2020 to advise that the Scottish Government would be re-considering its plans for the updated CCP as part of a green recovery from COVID-19 and that it had requested advice from the UK Committee on Climate Change (CCC) on this. The CCC has since set out its view on the principles that should underpin a net-zero recovery and highlighted some priorities for action.

Recently, the ECCLR Committee discussed the parameters of a green recovery with the Cabinet Secretary on 15 June 2020. On 16 June 2020, the Cabinet Secretary announced before Parliament that she hoped to lay a revised CCP ‘in December to align with the Scottish budget, if possible. The recast plan will set out a credible pathway, as part of a green recovery, to meeting Scotland’s world-leading climate targets over the period to 2032.’

Framework for a green recovery and ECCLR Committee Call for Views

The Committee agreed its approach to green recovery work on 23 June 2020 and will focus its initial scrutiny on establishing the principles, key actions for change, immediate priorities, leadership and governance needed to underpin an effective green recovery, as well as the potential implementation barriers.

The Committee would particularly welcome views on the following questions– 

• Do the principles of sustainable development (as set out in the annexe), and those for a resilient recovery, as proposed by the UK Committee on Climate Change, provide a comprehensive framework for guiding an effective green recovery in Scotland?
• What are the key barriers to delivering a green recovery (within your sector and / or community)?
• What key policies, actions and immediate priorities are needed to deliver a green recovery (within your sector and / or community)?
• How should the 2021/22 Budget support a green and sustainable recovery and avoid locking in carbon; and what funding is needed in the ECCLR portfolio to deliver a green and sustainable recovery?

The Committee would welcome written submissions and it would be helpful if your response could address the questions set out above (you do not, however, need to respond to all the points).

The call for views will be open until Friday 7 August 2020.

How to submit your views

Written responses should be sent electronically, in the template format only (see below), to [email protected]. Ideally, they should be no more than two sides of A4.

Before making a submission, please read our privacy notice (section headed Parliamentary business – Committees) about submitting your views to a Committee. This tells you about how we process your personal data. If you are under 12 years of age, please read this ‘Submitting Your Views to Committee: Young People’ section.

We welcome written views in English, Gaelic, Scots or any other language. Due to the time required to process and analyse evidence, submissions received after the closing date will not be considered. Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, we are unable to accept hard copy submissions on this occasion.

Contact 

Joe Ryan-Hume
Assistant Clerk
Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee 

If you have any questions, please contact the clerk at [email protected] (to submit written evidence, please use the [email protected] email address). 

Twitter @SP_ECCLR

Next steps 

The call for written views will help the Committee gather information and opinions on the principles, opportunities, priorities and actions, and the funding and governance arrangements needed to underpin an effective green recovery, as well as the potential implementation barriers. The Committee will share the responses of these actions with relevant committees across the Parliament to help inform their own inquiries and engagement processes, as well as to identify opportunities to engage collaboratively in green recovery scrutiny in the Autumn period. 

The Committee plans to engage with the public over the summer and then hear from experts, stakeholders and the Scottish Government in September and October, before reporting in November. The evidence gathered will inform the Committee’s pre-budget scrutiny work and its scrutiny of the CCP update, once laid at the end of the year.

Annexe A

Sustainable Development principles:

Committee on Climate Change principles:

The CCC recommends that the Scottish Government, in partnership with Westminster, prioritises actions according to six principles for a resilient recovery:
1. Use climate investments to support the economic recovery and jobs
2. Lead a shift towards positive long-term behaviours
3. Tackle the wider ‘resilience deficit’ on climate change
4. Embed fairness as a core principle
5. Ensure the recovery does not ‘lock-in’ greenhouse gas emissions or increased climate risk
6. Strengthen incentives to reduce emissions when considering fiscal changes

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