Plans for mandatory public sector climate change reporting in Scotland

23rd February 2015

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  • Mitigation ,
  • Reporting ,
  • Devolved government


Ruth Chippendale

Major public sector bodies in Scotland will be required to report compliance with climate change targets under plans being considered by the Scottish government.

Scotland has failed to meet its annual emission reduction target for three consecutive years, but research has shown that there is scope to significantly increase emissions reduction in the public sector.

Public sector bodies in Scotland currently produce voluntary reports. But these are not submitted to a central collection point for analysis or feedback, nor does the government use the information to evaluate the annual performance of the sector, the government's consultation notes.

A better reporting system would provide a more detailed picture of the sector's overall performance and help to inform future climate change policy, funding and support, it says.

Under the plans, approximately 150 public bodies, including the Scottish government, local authorities, education institutions, NHS boards and selected non-departmental government bodies, will have to supply climate change information each year.

The mandatory reports will replace the voluntary ones, and organisations will be able to reuse emissions datasets prepared earlier in the year for other UK reporting obligations, such as for the carbon reduction commitment. This will reduce reporting fatigue in the public sector, the government claims.

It is proposing to trial a standard reporting form for 2014/15. The form will be finalised and laid in parliament after the summer recess, and brought into force by November 2015, the government said.

Climate change minister Aileen McLeod said: "The introduction of required reporting is one area where we have the power to do more to tackle climate change. This is why we are seeking views on standardising reporting for public sector bodies to enable consistent standards, continuous improvement and transparency within the public sector."

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