Report on “Will Net Zero Nation work? Scottish Government Public Engagement Strategy”

On Tuesday 26 January, over 40 members of SCCAN met online to discuss the Scottish Government’s draft of ‘Net Zero Nation’. Philip Revell presented [Slides here] his assessment of the consultation. His key point, which was strongly supported by participants, was the need to reframe Scotland’s Purpose as a nation in the context of Doughnut Economics:

‘For Scotland to be home to thriving people, where nature thrives on the land and in the sea, whilst also respecting the wellbeing of all people, and the health of the whole planet’ 

The full event report can be accessed here.

There were break-out rooms on the themes of Communicating Climate Change Policy, Enabling Participation in Policy Design, and Encouraging Actions. The key points from these were:

  • Embedded carbon must be added to the zero carbon calculation, to ensure transparency, meaningful metrics, an internationally just approach, and to avoid disincentivising local green jobs which would move carbon emissions back into our own local economies.
  • Education will play a key role. Teachers are asking for education reform, including training on the environmental crisis. Some examples of good practice include Climate Ed, Eco Schools , Learning for Sustainability, Climate Solutions and Outdoor Education.
  • There was a call for policy to support specific solutions, e.g. more resources for community-led actions (particularly longer-term funding), a packaging deposit scheme, labelling on the environmental impact of goods, and regular more Citizens Assemblies with quadratic voting. There was also a request to ramp down public support, including subsidies, for anything that opposed Scotland’s climate aspirations.
  • The SCCAN membership offers good examples of community-led action groups.
  • The consultation’s language should challenge the mindset that frames the land and sea as an asset to exploit. Doughnut Economics requires us to acknowledge ‘nature’ as the foundation of our economy as well as our physical and spiritual wellbeing. 

The Scottish Government Consultation Document  has three main Themes:

  1. Communicating Climate Change Policy
  2. Enabling Participation in Policy Design
  3. Encouraging Action

Readers please note: Submissions must be in by 17 March – go to it!

The Scottish Government has a long way to go on achieving net zero by 2045. When responding to the consultation keep in mind the five steps for a Just and Green Recovery outlined in the letter to the First Minister from 100 Scottish civil society organisations.
Responses to the 15 questions can be as detailed or brief as you like. In this session you can learn how to make your voice heard – by responding personally and through your networks. The more people take part by 17 March, the more likely we are to contribute to a fairer future for all.

Concerns and questions

  • Regional Community Climate Action Hubs
  • Climate Action Towns
  • Funding and Resources
  • Land Reform
  • Planning System
  • Local Democracy
  • Our National Purpose

Facilitators Guide and The Scottish Government Consultation Document