THE UK’s leading independent climate change adviser has taken aim at the Scottish Government for not doing enough to protect the country against rising temperatures and sea levels.

In the last 30 years, experts have said Scotland’s average temperature has risen by 0.5C, winters have become 5% wetter and the sea level around the Scottish coast has increased by up to 3cm decade on decade.

In a new report titled “Is Scotland Climate Ready?”, the Climate Change Committee (CCC) has heavily criticised the Scottish Government for “stalling” in its efforts to protect people’s lives and infrastructure with future weather changes ahead.

The National: Scotland's temperature has risen by 0.5 degrees in the past 30 yearsScotland's temperature has risen by 0.5 degrees in the past 30 years

The chair of CCC’s adaptation committee, Julia King, Baroness Brown, said “action is not happening at the scale or pace required” and that Scotland needs to “up its game”.

The Scottish Government had set out its climate resilience efforts in the second Climate Change Adaptation Programme (SCCAP2), a five-year programme to prepare Scotland for future climate changes, but the CCC report said “much more needs to be done”.

READ MORE: The Saint slammed over 'misogynistic' article about Nicola Sturgeon

Key findings showed plans to adapt the country’s infrastructure are “insufficient”, adding ports, airports, telecoms, digital and ICT infrastructure all face “substantial climate risks”.

There are no measurable targets for reducing water demand in industry, despite risks of future droughts, the report said.

CCC researchers found farmland makes up 73% of the land area of Scotland, but there is no credible plan to adapt its habitats and species to a changing climate.

They said rates of peatland restoration are falling well short of Scottish Government targets and river management plans do not factor in weather changes.

The National: Protester holds up a 'system change, not climate change' posterProtester holds up a 'system change, not climate change' poster

With impending flood risk, CCC said it is concerned data is not being collected on new properties being built in flood-risk areas, and the majority of Scotland’s shoreline is not covered by sufficient plans to manage the risk of coastal erosion.

And with increasing temperatures, the report noted there are no plans for dealing with climate change-induced increases in “vector-borne” diseases, such as Lyme disease, despite notable increases in cases in recent years.

READ MORE: Michael Gove gives car-crash Sky News interview on Ukraine

In response to the findings, the CCC said Scotland needs to make more “clear, time-bound and quantitative targets”.

The report made recommendations urging the Scottish Government to improve its monitoring and evaluation systems to better assess future climate-related risks.

It also called for ministers to look at numerous local-level initiatives that can form a blueprint for a stronger approach on how to adapt to extreme weather changes.

The National: The report emphasised the need for local-level initiatives The report emphasised the need for local-level initiatives

Baroness Brown added: “Without a renewed sense of urgency, the significant changes we are already seeing in Scotland today will have impacts on all areas of Scottish society and nature in the years to come.

“Scotland needs to up its game by kickstarting delivery; introducing clear, measurable targets; improving monitoring and evaluation of climate risks, and ensuring greater accountability for Government – it has some examples of good practice to build on.”

Fabrice Leveque, climate change policy manager at WWF Scotland – a non-governmental organisation that works on preserving wildlife, said the report shows how the country is “failing to adapt our nature for these impacts”.

He said: “Our peatlands and seas provide a home to plants and animals, can support sustainable livelihoods, and are vital carbon stores.

“It’s crucial that we protect and restore our peatlands and better manage our seas to lock away carbon, protect the amazing and iconic species that call them home and defend the natural systems that provide us all with food and clean water.”

The National: Michael Matheson, Scotland's Net Zero SecretaryMichael Matheson, Scotland's Net Zero Secretary

Commenting on the report, Scotland’s Net Zero Secretary Michael Matheson, above, said the Scottish Government welcomes independent scrutiny of its response to the climate emergency and accepts that more needs to be done.

He also said it is “making real progress” and pointed to the extra £150 million funding for flood risk management and £12m for coastal change adaptation over the course of this Parliament.

Matheson added: “We are ensuring our transport network is prepared for the impacts of climate change, including investment of £60m to support climate adaptation and resilience of our trunk roads.

“We are also supporting resilience internationally by trebling our world-first Climate Justice Fund.

“We will continue to deliver the 170 policies and proposals in our current Adaptation Programme and also look for additional actions we can take to address the highest priority areas identified by the committee.”