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Four Committees to scrutinise Low Carbon Scotland progress report (RPP2)

30th January 2013

If you've ever wondered why acronyms exist, then the following parliamentary document will prove their worth beyond doubt....

The Low Carbon Scotland: Meeting our Emissions Reduction Targets 2013-2027: The Draft Second Scottish Report on Proposals and Policies *take a breath* also known as 'RPP2' was laid in the Parliament on 29th January 2013.  Under the provisions of the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 Parliament has a maximum of 60 days to report on the document. 

Four parliamentary Committees have identified an interest in scrutinising the draft report. Each Committee has issued a call for views and will separately consider the elements of the Report within their remit and will report directly to Parliament. 

The Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee will focus on issues including climate change governance, land use, resource use and behaviour change. Committee Convener Rob Gibson said: “Scotland has led the way in tackling climate change by creating some of the world’s most challenging targets. Whilst these targets are clearly long term, unless we act now, we are at risk of causing irreversible damage to our climate and environment. Our Committee will be looking at overarching issues such as how behaviour change can make a difference to more specific issues such as how we use our land and resources.”

The Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee will focus on decarbonising the energy sector, reducing energy demand and fuel poverty. Committee Convener Murdo Fraser said: “Following on from the Committee’s report into the Scottish Government’s renewable energy targets, we will be looking at the Government’s progress towards meeting its future climate change targets. Of particular interest will be those issues that are critical to meeting the targets including how we reduce energy demand, the use of electricity and heat from renewable sources and the impact of fuel prices.”

The Local Government and Regeneration Committee will consider how communities, local authorities and the planning system can contribute to targets. Committee Convener Kevin Stewart said: “The ambitious climate change targets which Scotland set were noticed across the world. We want to explore what impact these targets have had on urban and rural communities across Scotland, and what more local government needs to do to ensure that these targets are met.”

The Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee will look at fuel poverty and energy efficiency in housing, transport issues, procurement, broadband infrastructure and Scottish Water. Committee Convener Maureen Watt said: “Scotland wants to lead the way and to do that, we need to keep looking ahead and improving our policies as we do so. Whilst 2023 might seem light years away, we do not underestimate the challenge of ensuring that the transport and housing sectors make a tangible contribution to meeting the emissions reduction targets.”

The Committees are particularly interested in the following questions as they relate to their specific remits:

  • The effectiveness of progress towards implementing the proposals and policies set out in the RPP1 and the appropriateness of the proposed adjustments to the proposals and policies within the RPP1
  • The effectiveness of the proposals and policies with the draft RPP2 for meeting the annual emissions targets
  • How these proposals and policies are likely to contribute towards the achievement of the interim target, the 2050 target and, in each target year, the domestic effort target;
  • The appropriateness of the timescales over which the proposals and policies within the draft RPP2 are expected to take effect

It is expected that the Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee will take oral evidence on energy efficiency in housing on 6 February 2013, and on Transport on 20 February 2013. It is also expected that Ministers will give oral evidence on 27 February 2013.

The closing date for written evidence is Wednesday 20th February 2013.