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Calculating the environmental impacts of public action - Ian Thom, United Kingdom


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This presentation was made by Ian Thom, United Kingdom, at the Introductory Workshop on Green Budgeting Tools held at the OECD, Paris, on 29 April 2019

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Calculating the environmental impacts of public action - Ian Thom, United Kingdom

  1. 1. Scottish Parliament: New budget process and climate scrutiny tools Iain Thom Researcher – Brexit, Environment & Rural Affairs
  2. 2. Scottish Parliament: A devolved legislature within the UK
  3. 3. Reserved to United KingdomDevolved to Scotland How powers are split between Scotland and UK Environment Education Transport Housing Health Justice Social Security Trade & industry Foreign policy Economic & monetary Defence & security Energy
  4. 4. Scotland’s climate ambition • The Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009: – set GHG emissions reduction targets of 42% by 2020 and 80% by 2050 – requires Government to publish a ‘Climate Change Plan’ to meet targets – requires a carbon assessment of the budget • The 42% target has been met early. • Responding to the Paris Agreement, new legislation proposes a 90% target for 2050, and a net-zero target “when feasible”.
  5. 5. Budget scrutiny
  6. 6. Previous budget process • Due to timing of UK Budget, Scottish budget scrutiny was concentrated into ~3 months
  7. 7. New budget process • Full year approach • Continuous cycle • Output / outcome focused • Fiscal responsibility • Interdependent
  8. 8. Climate scrutiny tools: current • Climate Change Plan monitoring reports – annual reporting as of 2018 – measured against set of indicators and outcomes – format and timing in development – will they be useful in the new budget process? • Carbon assessment of the budget – required by legislation since 2009 – environmentally extended Input-Output model (EIO) – but does not measure ‘outcome’ of spend
  9. 9. Climate scrutiny tools: work in progress (1) • Focus on infrastructure spending – Why? Because infrastructure “locks-in” a pattern of future emissions. “infrastructure investment is a key determinant of future GHG emissions... The window for making the right choices is uncomfortably narrow… future GHG emissions are going to be locked in by investment choices in the next decade” Investing in Climate, Investing in Growth, OECD 2017
  10. 10. • Climate impact of Scottish infrastructure “pipeline” largely unknown. • Improvements? It’s work in progress… possibly emissions forecasts for everything in the infrastructure pipeline? Climate scrutiny tools: work in progress (2) • very simple “high-neutral-low” categorisation published (since 2017)
  11. 11. SPICe provides factual, accurate and timely information and analysis to Members in support of parliamentary business. Iain Thom - Researcher in the Brexit, Environment and Rural Affairs team. Email: Blog: Twitter: @SPICe_Research