Takes Climate Action

Graphic explaining how we're taking climate action, as described below

We continue to face a climate emergency and we need to move to a greener, more sustainable and more active means of travelling. Our actions are designed to reach our goal of Net Zero, continuing to limit our impacts on the climate and safeguarding our environment.

Will help deliver our net-zero target

  • We will publish the draft Climate Change Plan in the coming year. This will set out our commitments and policies which will support the journey to Net Zero and help us to achieve our emissions reductions targets throughout the period of 2025 to 2040.
  • Since publishing the draft route map to achieving a 20% reduction in car kilometres driven in Scotland by 2030, co-produced with CoSLA, we have undertaken engagement and consultation to inform the final route map, which will be published in the coming months. Alongside the final route map we will publish a number of supporting documents: the public consultation analysis, impact assessments, a monitoring and evaluation framework, supporting data and an accompanying Car Use Reduction Resource Guide, to support local authority and other stakeholder partners to implement interventions in the route map.
  • We will develop a Car Demand Management Framework by 2025, which will take into account the needs of people in rural areas and island communities as well as those on low incomes and people with Equality Act protected characteristics.

Will adapt to the effects of climate change

  • In August 2023, we published Transport Scotland’s Approach to Climate Change Adaptation & Resilience (ACCAR) which outlines the key climate risks affecting Scotland’s transport system and sets out our strategic outcomes for road, rail, aviation and maritime transport networks. Alongside this, the second Scottish Climate Change Adaptation Programme (SCCAP2) sets out the strategic approach to climate adaptation and resilience across all sectors of the economy. A draft of the third iteration of the programme, which will be rebranded as the Scottish National Adaptation Plan (2024-29) – or SNAP3 – will be published for consultation in early 2024 and then finalised for publication in autumn 2024.
  • To ensure Scotland’s trunk roads are well adapted and resilient to the current, projected and unexpected impacts of climate change, we will develop and publish a Trunk Roads Adaptation Plan and carry out an assessment of climate impacts on trunk roads using the latest UK climate projections.
  • We are committed to an infrastructure solution to address landslip risks at the A83 Rest and Be Thankful. Delivery of a permanent and resilient solution is a priority and we will continue to seek ways to achieve that as quickly as possible. The announcement on 2 June 2023 of the preferred route option through the Glen Croe valley is a very important milestone in finding a solution to this long-standing problem. The proposed new debris flow shelter will help protect the road and road users from future landslides. We held public exhibitions from 12 to 15 June in Arrochar and Lochgilphead to invite comment on the preferred route option. The next step for the project is to progress the detailed design of the scheme and will conclude with the publication of draft Orders and an Environmental Impact Assessment Report for comment. This should be concluded by the end of 2024. At the same time, improvements to the existing Old Military Road through the Glen Croe corridor are being made to make it a more resilient diversion route until the long term solution to the problems at the Rest and Be Thankful is in place. It is expected that these works will be carried out on a phased basis starting in late 2023.
  • In the current five-year railway funding period (2019 to 2024), we have allocated £4.85 billion to maintain, operate, enhance and decarbonise Scotland’s railway, in part to support Network Rail Scotland’s Weather Resilience and Climate Change Adaptation (WRCCA) strategies.
  • Our record level of investment in rail includes support for ScotRail and Caledonian Sleeper services and rail enhancement projects, as well as investment in Network Rail’s operations and maintenance for Scotland’s Railway. Spend in the Financial Year 2023-24 alone is projected to be £1.4 billion, which is an increase of some £400 million compared to pre-pandemic funding levels.
  • Through our Rail Services Decarbonisation Plan, which will be refreshed over the coming year, we have a commitment to decarbonise passenger rail services. This work includes the electrification of East Kilbride railway line by December 2025 and decarbonisation of Barrhead services in the coming year. In 2022-23, around 13 thousand trains moved over four million tonnes of goods, saving millions of lorry miles in Scotland. 50% of these trains were electrically hauled.

Will promote greener, cleaner choices

  • In February 2023, we launched a 12-month pilot for the Mobility and Scrappage Fund, offering a grant of £2,000 in return for the safe disposal of more polluting vehicles in support of the target to reduce car kilometres travelled by 20% by 2030. The Fund, delivered by Energy Savings Trust, is piloted in lower income areas and Air Quality Management Areas in Scotland, including the islands communities. In addition, the Fund offers up to two £500 Travel Better grants to purchase a range of sustainable travel options, including bike, e-bike or public transport vouchers – encouraging a shift away from cars for those that choose to do so. The outcomes from the pilot will be evaluated after the Mobility and Scrappage Fund closes in early 2024.
  • Scotland’s economy relies upon the movement of goods, and the move to zero emission trucks must work effectively for our haulage and logistics sectors. We are working collaboratively across the energy, finance and logistics sectors to support Scotland’s hauliers in their ambitions for cleaner, greener road freight. Our Zero Emission Truck Taskforce, comprised of leaders from haulage, manufacturing, union, energy, finance and government will finalise and publish its co-designed pathway to zero emission HGVs in early 2024.
  • Decarbonising buses to zero-emissions further increases the benefits of bus as a preferred transport choice. Through the second round of the Scottish Zero Emission Bus Challenge Fund (ScotZEB2), we are providing up to £58 million to support swift and significant change in the bus market in favour of zero-emission technologies, building on the foundations made by the Scottish Zero Emission Bus market Transition Scheme, and phase one of the Challenge Fund. 
  • We continue to support smart ticketing and develop smart delivery strategy projects, including drafting and survey analysis. We aim to provide smart ferry concessionary travel in Orkney and Shetland by late 2023 and improve concession data with the inclusion of on boarding and alighting data to be included in the concession ticket transactions. Our Smart Delivery Strategy will be updated in the coming year.

The pioneering National Smart Ticketing Advisory Board will commence operation in late 2023, following appointment of members in autumn 2023.. Membership comprises of different modes, transport authorities, users and experts to advise Scottish Ministers on the future of smart ticketing. The Board will also advise on a national technological standard for smart ticketing, to be used in ticketing schemes to improve the interoperability of smart ticketing, setting the foundations for simpler, smart integration.