Blog by Suzanne Marshall, Lead – Curriculum and Teaching, CDN

Why this Consultation?

On 14 May, the Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land reform gave a statement to Parliament about Scotland’s response to the global climate emergency, and committed to consult widely on what needs to happen across the country in order to end Scotland’s contribution to global warming.

The Big Climate Conversation, of which this consultation paper is part, aims to:

  • Build an open, transparent and collaborative, whole-Scotland approach to reducing emissions;
  • Identify and share ideas about opportunities, what works, barriers to action and what we need to do differently;
  • Generate ideas for the update to the Climate Change Plan


This consultation, open until 4 December, is focused on the role of public sector bodies in ending Scotland’s contribution to climate change, how the Public Sector Climate Change Reporting Duties should be revised to support that, and how Scottish Government and the wider public sector can work together to make a step-change in delivery. The government want to hear from public bodies such as colleges and universities, other organisations and individuals about what they think they should be doing to tackle climate change.

Public bodies are legally required to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support Scotland’s adaptation to a changing climate. The first part of this consultation is about how information and guidance from Scottish Ministers is provided and shared and how Public Sector Bodies collaborate with each other and the rest of Scotland. Views are being sought on the training and guidance available to public sector leaders and proposals for a High Ambition Climate Network of Public Sector Bodies.

Public Sector Bodies are also legally required to report annually on their greenhouse gas emissions and what they are doing to help adapt to a changing climate. The second part of this consultation is about improving the reporting arrangements to simultaneously reduce the administrative burden on Public Sector Bodies and drive action. Views are being sought on whether Public Sector bodies should set targets for themselves to achieve zero greenhouse gas emissions and on other changes to the reporting duties.

The Consultation will be discussed at EAUC’s upcoming virtual Forum Meeting, and will give people an opportunity to share ideas, and consider whether EAUC should submit a further and higher education sector response.

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