SCCAN recently submitted a response to the Scottish Government consultation on its draft Climate Change Adaptation Programme. This followed a consultation event for our members that we organised jointly with Nourish Scotland.
Whilst we welcome the overarching aim of the programme to increase the resilience of Scotland’s people, environment and economy, the unpredictable effect of the climate change already locked into the system is just one of the challenges facing Scotland’s communities along with the challenge of rapid decarbonisation combined with rising energy prices, increasing inequality and economic turmoil. We need to be adapting not just to a changing climate but to a rapid reduction in our use of fossil fuels and the radical economic change that this will entail.
We would argue that creating resilient, low-carbon communities, including resilient eco-systems, food systems, buildings and infrastructure networks needs to be at the heart of all Scottish Government policies and programmes, that a clear vision of what a low-carbon, resilient Scotland will look like is required and that communities need to be empowered and inspired to take action to create local economies and systems that are adapted to local circumstances and resilient to whatever unexpected shocks arise.
A major gap in the draft programme is that it considers Scotland in isolation and takes no account of our current vulnerability to shocks arising elsewhere in the global economy, including from climate change. Scotland’s food system is particularly vulnerable to shocks elsewhere in the world and we endorse the response made by Nourish Scotland.