SNP ministers have tabled “fisheries closures” and making farming payments dependent on their willingness to adapt to the climate crisis as part of a key strategy to protect Scotland from the changing environment.

The Scottish Government has published its draft Scottish national adaptation plan for 2024-2029, setting out proposals for managing the current and future impacts of climate change in Scotland.

The climate crisis is already estimated to cost the Scottish economy billions of pounds per year, with forecasts for 2050 showing 1.2% to 1.6% of GDP per year could be impacted.

It comes after the government’s independent statutory advisers, the Climate Change Committee (CCC), raised “serious concerns” in November that Scotland was being put “at increasing risk of damaging cascading impacts across the economy” when more extreme weather events strike.

The advisers said that progress on adaption “remains slow” and that “important gaps remain”.

Read more: SNP's lack of climate adaptation 'putting economy at greater risk'

SNP Net Zero Secretary, Mairi McAllan, has published her blueprint to better protect Scotland from the risks of the climate crisis, including key industries and infrastructure and attempting to ensure that businesses can thrive as the economy is overhauled to meet net zero and biodiversity targets.

The strategy points to the existing network of 32 marine protected areas (MPAs) which cover around 37% of Scottish seas, stressing the measure is used to “ensure protection of some of the most vulnerable species and habitats”.

Ministers have committed to “assess” the MPAs “in respect of the resilience of marine biodiversity to climate change by 2026” and have pledged to “introduce fisheries closures to protect vulnerable marine ecosystems in offshore waters between 400-800m depth by 2027”.

The key strategy also points to “required fisheries management measures” for offshore MPAs being delivered this year and to “develop and implement an adaptive management framework for the MPA network by 2028”.

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Ministers will also “develop a marine restoration plan” over the next two years, which will include “prioritising marine habitats and locations suitable for restoration” which will feature “a library of restoration measures”.

The CCC has previously warned that farmers in Scotland have so-far been given an easy ride in terms of cutting emissions, with the agriculture sector lagging behind the majority of other parts of the economy at reaching net zero targets.

The Scottish Government is pointing to measures to incentivise farmers to play their part in helping Scotland adapt to the impacts of the climate crisis.

The strategy points to an ambition for Scotland to become “a global leader in sustainable and regenerative agriculture” and the need to support farmers to “manage the land for climate and biodiversity outcomes” as well as them being responsible for a range of planned actions to restore peatlands and woodlands.

It adds that “from 2025, to qualify for farming support payments farmers will be required to have the foundations of a ‘whole farm plan’ which will include soil testing, animal health and welfare declarations, carbon audits, biodiversity audits and supported business planning”.

Other proposals outlined in the strategy include a “modernised water industry” and a “persons at risk distribution system” that will help councils and the NHS “identify vulnerable individuals during an emergency such as an extreme weather event”.

Ministers will also deliver a forestry resilience action plan later this year and “invest more than £650,000 in yearly surveillance of 1.5 million hectares of woodland”.

The Scottish Government is also hoping to table legislation at Holyrood that would “enshrine the principles of sustainable flood risk management and enable the delivery of blue-green places at all scales”.

Read more: Scottish Government shelves controversial fishing ban plans

Ministers will work with councils to roll out “nature networks” in every local authority with the aim to “provide connectivity between important places for biodiversity, deliver local priorities and contribute to strategic priorities at regional and national scales by 2030”.

The Scottish Government will also roll out a plan for invasive non-native species (INNS) “surveillance, prevention and control” and has committed to reducing the rate of known or potential INNS “by at least 50% by 2030 compared to 2020 level”.

Plans have also been drawn up for each health board in Scotland to “prioritise passive cooling measures over mechanical cooling wherever possible” and “develop and manage greenspace and other green infrastructure such as green roofs and rain gardens to mitigate flood and overheating risks”.

Read more: Analysis: Scotland is failing to back up climate pledges with progress

Transport Scotland will draw up a trunk road adaptation plan by next year and continue to “build network resilience to extreme weather and other climate risks”.

Ms McAllan said: “As we have seen in recent times Scotland is not immune from the impacts of climate change – 2023 was the hottest year on record and storms have battered the country this winter, impacting families, communities and businesses.

“As highlighted in the UK's Climate Change Committee’s latest assessment report, we are taking notable steps forward on adaptation policy, however planning and preparation is always better than response and recovery. The decisions we make today must stand the test of time.”

She added: “Businesses, public sector, the third sector, communities and individuals all stand to benefit from learning more about their exposure to climate change risks and – crucially – how they can respond and what support is available.

“Just like our work to reduce carbon emissions, adaptation action also needs to be grounded in fairness, equality and seizing economic opportunities. “I urge everyone to take part in the consultation so we can build a more climate-resilient Scotland for future generations.”