Scotland calls for clarity on councils’ climate change role

The unique position that Scottish local authorities hold in shaping community behaviour must be properly recognised by the Government in its climate change plans.

Councils also have a vital role to play both as consumers and suppliers of services and the Scottish Government must do more to ensure they are fully committed to tackling climate change.

This call for a higher profile for local authorities in the country’s climate change plans comes after a new report was published last week (22 March) by the Scottish Parliament’s Local Government & Regeneration Committee, which highlighted a lack of focus on the role of Scottish councils in taking on the climate change challenge.

Published in January 2013, the Scottish Government’s Draft Second Climate Change Report on Proposals and Policies (RPP2) sets out how it will meet climate change targets from 2013-2027 and underlines the role that local authorities play both as consumers and suppliers of services as well as influencing behaviour.

The committee has called on the Scottish Government to build in measures to combat climate change and highlighted the role of planning and procurement policy in delivering progress.

“The role which local authorities play in tackling climate change cannot be under estimated… and more must be done to ensure that they are fully committed to addressing climate change,” said Committee Convener Kevin Stewart MSP.

“Scotland’s ambitious climate change targets will only be met if we work together to change our behaviour. There needs to be a commitment to work with the people living and working in communities to ensure that climate change policies are not just things done to them but with them.”

Nick Warburton

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