Governance is a crucial aspect to the successful delivery of the Climate Action Plan and the wider net zero agenda. The lessons learnt from several public and private sector organisations is that the successful climate action requires climate change to be embedded into all levels of organisational governance and embedded in key functions.

Climate Governance within Perth and Kinross Council

Governance and accountability for delivering climate change is improving within Perth & Kinross Council. Climate change is now seen as a top corporate priority – demonstrated by Perth & Kinross Council formally recognising the Scottish Government’s 2019 climate emergency declaration and inclusion of climate change adaptation as a main strategic risk on the Corporate Risk Register. Climate Change is owned by full Council and with a complementary officer-level Climate Change Board.

The Zero Waste Scotland Climate Change Assessment Tool (CCAT) assists public sector organisations to self-evaluate their capability and performance under the public sector duties of the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009. Based on a matrix system, climate change progress is scored across five different categories of work within Perth & Kinross Council: Governance, Emissions, Adaptation, Behaviour and Procurement.

The CCAT completed for Perth & Kinross Council in July/August 2021 gave an overall score of 51%. This is a small improvement on the score of 47% when last measured in 2017/18. It also identified 39 prioritised actions across the 5 categories for Perth & Kinross Council to take forward. An organisation that is climate change ready would typically score close to, or the maximum of, 100% overall.

The assessment shows Perth & Kinross Council has demonstrated good progress towards managing and reducing carbon emissions associated with waste, energy and water consumption and fleet. Data collection systems are effective, allowing good tracking of Perth & Kinross Council’s carbon footprint. The overall scores for behaviour and procurement are low, with a need for improved internal climate change communication to raise awareness and engage and influence staff behaviour. This is also reflected in the absence of appointed climate change champions within individual services and teams. Consideration of climate change impacts will be included in business and service planning and delivery, with priority given to developing carbon accounting and climate change risk assessment processes for those projects subject to financial appraisal.

The key themes identified for Governance are as follows:

Governance and accountability: While climate change is everyone’s responsibility, it is necessary to establish formal climate governance arrangements. It is proposed a report and updated action plan will be prepared for Council in October each year. To ensure that progress on climate action is monitored more frequently, quarterly progress updates will also be provided to elected members

To support elected members in decision making on climate change, the Committee reporting process will be reviewed to include this area more prominently.

Business and performance management: In order to embed climate change into Council operations, this will be included into the annual BMIP process as a core area and that identified climate risks and associated actions are considered within existing corporate risk management processes. It is important that responsibility for meeting climate targets is devolved to the level where services are delivered, a first step is to undertake research for how other local authorities have developed and implemented devolving energy and carbon budgets and develop a feasibility report for a similar approach for Perth & Kinross Council.

Objective and target setting: Perth & Kinross Council, together with the Perth and Kinross Climate Change Commission, will need to develop interim emissions targets for both the Council’s operations and the wider local authority area. An important first action is to have an improved understanding of the full carbon footprint – including from other greenhouse gases and also from Scope 3 emissions. While we await a more enhanced approach to emission reporting, the proposed framework presented below provides a list of key Performance Indicators which can be used to provide more responsive feedback. This will evolve over time.

Sustainable Procurement: This needs to be considered across all Council procurement processes – both direct procurement and also through Tayside Contracts, commissioning arrangements and other Scottish Frameworks. This will help drive improved climate performance.

A climate emergency has been declared internationally and recognised by both the UK and Scottish Governments. ​ The key long-term target is to ensure Perth and Kinross is Net Zero by 2045 at the latest. To achieve this, the majority of action required must be underway by 2030.​ The following road map provides an overview of the actions which Perth and Kinross Council will undertake to implement the governance mechanisms required to achieve these targets.​

PDF: Accessible version of Road Map
PDF: Accessible version of Road Map

The following Key Performance Indicators have been developed to enable progress and monitor climate action related to climate governance. The KPI framework will be further developed during 2022.

Key Theme

Performance Indicator

Baseline Value


Scope 3 Emissions – Procured goods and services and capital works

Indicator methodology and baseline under development – to be finalised in 2022

Governance and accountability

% of Members and senior officers who have undertaken Climate Literacy training

Indicator methodology and baseline under development – to be finalised in 2022

Business and performance management

% of staff who have climate change included in job description

Indicator methodology and baseline under development – to be finalised in 2022

Contact Information

[email protected]