Scottish Budget

New project to understand climate impacts of Scottish Government policies

Decisions about public spending play an important role in realising Scotland’s net zero targets because they affect how carbon reductions are funded. Providing a clearer understanding of the environmental and climate impacts of spending decisions will be instrumental in delivering greener budgets and making progress towards net zero ambitions in the years ahead.

ClimateXChange has commissioned the Fraser of Allander Institute to explore options aimed at improving how greenhouse gas emissions are considered in the development of Scottish Budgets and spending decisions.

This research, being commissioned on behalf of the Scottish Government as part of a Joint Budget Review with the Scottish Parliament, which aims to improve the transparency with which climate change is considered in the Scottish Budget. The research will look at options for assessing the carbon impacts of policies in an evidence based, systematic and proportionate way during the policy making and budget scrutiny process.

This will include reviewing the evidence of the latest and most innovative practice in other countries and in other jurisdictions across the UK.

Importantly, the research will include consultation and joint working with both Scottish Government and Parliamentary officials, to ensure the research recommendations are possible to implement, proportionate and that it meaningfully supports the budget scrutiny process in parliament.

The research will be led by Mairi Spowage, Director of the Fraser of Allander Institute at The University of Strathclyde.

Mairi said “The goal of this new research is to help policy makers in Scotland meaningfully and proportionately consider the carbon impacts of policies as part of the policy making process.

“This will also assist the scrutiny by parliament of spending decisions to ensure the budget is supporting Scotland’s net zero ambitions.”

The research is beginning now and will conclude by Summer 2022. If you would like to find out more, please get in touch with Mairi at .


Mairi is the Director of the Fraser of Allander Institute. Previously, she was the Deputy Chief Executive of the Scottish Fiscal Commission and the Head of National Accounts at the Scottish Government and has over a decade of experience working in different areas of statistics and analysis.

James is a Fellow at the Fraser of Allander Institute. He specialises in economic policy, modelling, trade and climate change. His work includes the production of economic statistics to improve our understanding of the economy, economic modelling and analysis to enhance the use of these statistics for policymaking, data visualisation to communicate results impactfully, and economic policy to understand how data can be used to drive decisions in Government.

Knowledge Exchange Associate at the Fraser of Allander Institute