Chapter 4.2.1 Strategic approaches

Deliver climate-friendly economic policy

Prepare a new Economic Strategy to deliver on Scotland’s legal climate change targets.

Local Authorities
UK Govt
Scottish Govt
Emissions reduction
Behaviour change

Scotland’s Economic Strategy is not directing sufficient investment into the Just Transition to a zero-carbon economy to meet the targets in the Climate Change Act. The climate and nature emergencies require that the objectives and priorities of economic policy are changed. The move towards a circular economy, exit from the EU and aspirations towards a Wellbeing Economy give further cause for a revision of the way in which economic development is managed.

Therefore, a new Economic Strategy is needed which must deliver this Just Transition, effectively combining environmental and social objectives. An integrated industrial strategy would tackle climate change and the energy crisis and create well paid jobs, including through investment in quality social infrastructure, including care, essential to supporting the economy.85 The economic and industrial strategies should chart the path to a decarbonised economy with lower resource footprints which will reduce social inequalities and protect biodiversity. And it will need to make sure Scotland can adapt to the changing climate in a fair and equitable way.

A requirement should be introduced in annual budgets to evidence the proportion of committed spend which could be defined as ‘in the benefit of future generations.’ (See also Sustainable Wealth Fund policy).

When this is done, it should present a vision of a country which emits no net greenhouse gases, strives for the wellbeing of all its citizens and ceases to damage its environment, and a clear route map to get to that point.

For further information:


Social infrastructure is the keystone to a healthier, happier, greener and more productive Scotland – STUC/SWBG, Scotsman, 2022,

stucswbg-3778634 & There is no Just Transition without social infrastructure, Katie Gallogly-Nelson, Scottish Left Review, 2022,

Version 1.0: September 2023

The contents of this document will be updated on a regular basis.