More needs to be done to ensure that low carbon living is the new norm

02.12.2013

The Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee is calling on the Scottish Government to strengthen Scotland’s support for people to change their behaviour in order to tackle climate change.

The Committee called on the Scottish Government to consider how it can use broader media approaches in order to support communication of behaviour change messages.

This was just one recommendation, in a wide ranging letter to the Scottish Government on their climate change plans.

The Committee took evidence from stakeholders as well as the Scottish Government on two publications relating to climate change – Low Carbon Scotland framework: a behaviours framework and the draft Scottish Climate Change Adaptation Programme.

Other recommendations in the Committee’s letter include:

  • That the Committee considers more can be done with regard to setting targets and assessing progress. The Committee encourages the Government to establish and monitor specific targets for each of the behaviour change areas and to consider them holistically to ensure they are not viewed in isolation, as it believes this necessary to enable effective evaluation of progress;
  • That the Minister works with the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning to explore how the behaviour change programme could be reflected in the curriculum; 
  • The Committee recognises the potential vulnerabilities of small and medium sized businesses and urges the Scottish Government to ensure the final Programme reflects the need to provide strong and targeted support to assist such businesses in adapting to climate change;
  • The Committee recommends that the section on agriculture and forestry is strengthened in the final Programme to provide  clearer guidance on  what implementing the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy will mean in practice and to ensure that support measures aimed at increasing the resilience of Scotland’s food system are explicit;
  • The Committee recommends that the Scottish Government ensures the social justice aspects of the adaptation programme are given more weight in the final Programme;
  • The Committee welcomes the establishment of the Public Sector Climate Change Leaders Forum and urges the Scottish Government to provide strong support to public sector bodies to help them promote practical action on low carbon behaviours.

Convener of the Committee Rob Gibson MSP said:

“Each and every one of us can do more to tackle climate change. Even small steps can make a big difference which is why the role of local media in influencing people’s behaviour is so important.  

“The Scottish Government is clearly trying to prepare Scotland for tackling the effects of climate change by focusing on the need for a change in everyone’s behaviour at an individual and community level. However we can’t be complacent and our Committee has suggested a number of key areas for improvement”.

Read the letter

Read the letter here

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