Chapter 3.1.1 Strategic approaches

Prevent all domestic climate policies from creating adverse consequences internationally

Scotland’s climate policies must be carried out in a manner that does not inadvertently ‘offshore’ the emissions elsewhere or make it harder for other nations to make their own fair contribution to the global effort.

UK Govt
Scottish Govt
Local Authorities
Emissions reduction
Behaviour change

Clearly, all the policies and proposals in this document seek to contribute to a reduction in emissions, and thus help to reduce Scotland’s adverse impact on the climate.  However, climate policies must also contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  To meaningfully ensure contribution to achievement of the SDGs, the Policy Coherence for Sustainable Development (PCSD) approach, that has wide support across government, should be adopted.  PCSD is an approach and policy tool for integrating sustainable development at all stages of domestic and international policy making.  Specifically, PCSD helps to:

(a)   foster synergies across economic, social and environmental policy areas

(b)   identity trade-offs and reconcile domestic policy objectives with internationally agreed objectives

(c)   address the spill-overs of domestic policies

Therefore, to meaningfully ensure coherence with the SDGs, there must be a rigorous assessment of the global impacts of domestic climate policies.  For example, the impact of the extraction of minerals for renewable energy technologies or electric vehicles, is covered in the policy entitled ‘minimise demand for transition materials’ in the Waste and Circular Economy chapter.

Beyond just climate policies, the Scottish Government should commit to a strategic priority of ‘do no harm’ with regard to economic, climate or social outcomes in other parts of the world, particularly in the Global South, in implementing Scotland’s Just Transition.55

As well as preventing adverse consequences internationally, Scotland’s domestic and overseas climate policies and projects should also proactively advance equality, as embodied, for instance, in the Glasgow Women’s Leadership statement.56

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Version 1.0: September 2023

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