SEPA vows to help Scotland address the climate change 'challenge'

  03 March 2014
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has marked the start of Climate Week 2014 today (3 March 2014) with the launch of a new plan to guide the Agency’s work in helping to deliver a lower carbon, more resilient Scotland.

‘Our Climate Challenge’ sets out SEPA’s vision to do everything in its power to help Scotland address climate change and ensure its environment, economy and communities flourish.

The plan provides a clear direction for where the Agency wants to be in five years and the steps for getting there. SEPA will work, in collaboration with partner organisations, across the following four key areas with the aim of making substantial progress towards the Agency’s climate change vision by 2018:

  • Acting as a key climate change leader and adviser;
  • Helping Scotland to adapt;
  • Working with Scottish businesses;
  • Being an exemplar and educator;

The Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 requires reduction in Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions of at least 42% by 2020 from a 1990 baseline. SEPA, as a major player in Scotland’s environment, has a duty to help deliver on this world-leading legislation and has set itself a goal of reducing its emissions by 42% by 2020 based on a 2006 – 2007 baseline.

James Curran, Chief Executive of SEPA, said:

“SEPA’s ’Our Climate Challenge’ plan provides a framework for our actions on climate change over the next five years and underlines our aim to help Scotland continue on a more sustainable path towards a resilient, low carbon future.

“Climate change is the greatest threat to the planet’s ecosystems and our lifestyles but, through its legislation, Scotland has an opportunity to become an exemplar in efforts to reduce emissions and SEPA has a vital role to play in this.

“Moving our economy towards a low carbon future is a significant challenge, but it is also a huge opportunity for clean, green and innovative businesses to flourish. Through our regulatory role, we can help Scottish businesses to reduce their emissions, and work with them to reduce resource and energy use which will also increase our resilience under increasing volatility of commodity supply and price.

“In addition, through our monitoring and scientific understanding of Scotland’s environment, we can advise on how the changing climate will impact on society and the economy, both now and in the future. Projected increases in spells of severe weather pose a real threat, for example due to flooding, but we can provide advice and information to help businesses and communities to become more adaptable.”

Environment and Climate Change Minister Paul Wheelhouse said:

“I welcome SEPA’s ‘Our Climate Challenge’report which sets out their actions along with partners, to help Scotland respond to the challenges of climate change mitigation and adaptation. Coinciding with Climate Week, it’s publication is all the more timely, given the discussions I’m taking part in at the Environment Council in Brussels today, contributing to international efforts to tackle Europe’s climate change challenges and to address possibly the greatest challenge facing the global community.”