Higher profile for local authorities needed to tackle climate change


A lack of focus on the role of local authorities in tackling climate change has been highlighted in a report published today (22 March) by the Scottish Parliament’s Local Government and Regeneration Committee.

The report, which examines the Scottish Government’s plans to tackle climate change in the coming years – known as the Draft Second Climate Change Report on Proposals and Policies (RPP2) – notes the  part  which local authorities play both as consumers and suppliers of services.

The Committee also noted the key role which local authorities have in influencing behaviour and it called on the Scottish Government to ensure that the role of local authorities in tackling climate change is properly recognised.

Committee Convener Kevin Stewart MSP said:

“The role which local authorities play in tackling climate change cannot be under estimated, not only as consumers and suppliers but also because of their unique position to influence communities across Scotland. More must be done to ensure that local authorities are fully committed to addressing climate change.

“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.”

The role of planning and procurement policy in delivering progress was also highlighted by the Committee who recommended that measures to address climate change should be built into these policies going forward.


RPP2 was published by the Scottish Government in January 2013 and sets out how the Scottish Government will meet climate change targets from 2013-2027.

A copy of the Committee’s report can be found at:


For the first time in the Scottish Parliament’s history, four parliamentary committees examined the report, with each Committee examining a different aspect of the report.

The Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee focused on issues such as climate change governance, land use, resource use and behaviour change.

The Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee looked for views on decarbonising the energy sector, and reducing energy demand, as well as fuel poverty.

The Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee looked in detail at fuel poverty as it relates to energy efficiency in housing, and issues relating to transport. The Committee also examined issues relating to procurement, broadband infrastructure and Scottish Water.

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