Economic opportunities in Scotland’s net zero and climate adaptation economy

The Scottish Government is committed to the net zero transition, and to maximising the economic opportunities that go along with it, as well as mitigating and adapting the economy to the effects of climate change. A just transition to a net zero, climate resilient economy in Scotland and internationally, presents significant opportunities for businesses to develop in new areas.

This research identifies the potential economic opportunities Scotland could realise from the transformative shift toward a Net Zero and Climate Adaptation (NZ&CA) economy.

The report presents a comprehensive Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis of the 12 sectors identified by the researchers as offering the greatest potential to deliver economic benefits.

The report is presented in four parts:

  1. The introduction and overview.
  2. The research synthesis, which outlines the cross-cutting themes identified by the project team, providing the key findings, the options for action and summary SWOT analyses.
  3. The 12 full SWOT analyses undertaken as part of the research.
  4. The appendix, which outlines the methodology for all key steps in the research project.

Key findings

When analysed across all 12 sector SWOTs included in the report, and following a wider literature and data review, several key findings that underpin potential actions emerge. These key findings suggest that any actions to grow Scotland’s NZ&CA economy should:

  • Understand the current nature of the Scottish economy and start from where it is: build on strengths and be cognisant of weaknesses.
  • Make effective policy that drives demand to catalyse business confidence and growth, and use public sector purchasing power to drive up demand in certain areas.
  • Recognise and crowd in behind Scotland’s early mover opportunities.
  • Aggregate and combine to maximise economic opportunities, recognising where aggregate opportunities are greater than the sum of their parts and considering system-based approaches to maximise the benefits.
  • Build from Scotland’s integrated and horizontal supply chains to capture emerging opportunities in different net zero markets.
  • Recognise that Scotland’s NZ&CA growth potential is greater than servicing domestic demand, Scotland must target international growth markets.
  • Secure Scotland’s future workforce.
  • Recognise and capitalise on the value of Scotland’s natural environment.
  • Recognise the importance of investment, in a number of forms, to further support, drive and deliver the economic opportunities in relevant sectors.

For further details, please download the report.

If you require the report in an alternative format, such as a Word document, please contact or 0131 651 4783.

Related Policies