Climate Action Plan (CAP) Newsletters

Keeping Up To Date

If you would like to receive our quarterly newsletters, which share developments about the Climate Action Plan and other related work, please email the Sustainability Policy Team at sustainability@eastdunbarton.gov.uk or call 0300 123 4510. 

Winter 22/23

Welcome to the seventh edition of the Climate Action Plan (CAP) newsletter, which provides an update on key climate change developments following our autumn 2022 edition.

Climate Action Plan

Development work on the CAP and related Local Heat and Energy Efficiency Strategy (LHEES) has continued, with a particular focus on stakeholder consultation. Over December and January three sessions were held enabling the Council and consultants Ricardo to engage with internal colleagues, external  organisations and relevant community groups. Useful discussions were held in relation to various mitigation and adaptation issues and the role of nature-based solutions in supporting both aspects of climate action. Comments were recorded and will be used to help shape the emerging CAP and LHEES.

Shared Prosperity Fund

Following confirmation that money from the UK Government’s Shared Prosperity Fund has been allocated to East Dunbartonshire, plans are underway to deliver a variety of projects, which will support climate action in a variety of ways, including the provision of advice, support and funding to local communities and businesses. Among the planned initiatives are community carbon literacy training, extra support for food growing and an assessment of nature-based solutions to climate change at the River Kelvin.More details will follow in  future editions of the CAP Newsletter.

Related Strategies

The consultation period for the Draft Circular Economy Strategy, outlined in the last CAP Newsletter, is nearing an end but there is still an opportunity to have a say – visit our Draft Circular Economy Strategy Consultation page for more information. Responses will be analysed between 6 February and 3 March and will inform a finalised Circular Economy Strategy for delivery over the next year.

Over to You

In addition to sharing details of work already happening, the purpose of this newsletter is to stimulate further action. There are many ways that you can make a difference, either as an individual or as part of a group. Here are our top three suggestions for the current season:

  • Get ready to ride! Scotland will make history this year by hosting the first UCI Cycling World Championships. With mass participation events for ages 5-65 and multiple opportunities for spectating, 2023 is the year to celebrate cycling.
     
  • Focus on fuel. Are you an off-gas home owner interested in reducing your fuel bills and carbon emissions?  If so, you could be eligible for a heat pump and associated home upgrades at a heavily discounted rate through the Re-Heat scheme. For more details, visit our Re-Heat web page.
     
  • Plan to plant!  The start of the growing season is approaching and there are opportunities for everyone, regardless of experience or space. The internet offers a bounty of inspiration and advice, including the Soil Association’s website [opens in a new window].

Please email any comments or enquiries to sustainability@eastdunbarton.gov.uk 

 

Autumn 22

Welcome to the sixth edition of the Climate Action Plan (CAP) newsletter, which provides an update on key climate change developments following our Summer 2022 edition.

Climate Action Plan

CAP development work has continued, with pathways being created to show possible routes to achieving net zero and climate resilience. These will be presented to elected members in an Options Report in spring 2023 and will form the basis of the Draft CAP, which will be issued for public consultation. Work on the related Local Heat and Energy Efficiency Strategy (LHEES) is also progressing; the emerging pathways for decarbonising heat and energy use in buildings will inform the wider CAP vision.

Climate Change Reporting

East Dunbartonshire Council’s annual climate change reports for 2021/22 have now been produced and approved by Elected Members. The Public Bodies Climate Change Duties report, required by the Scottish Government, sets out actions being taken across the Council to reduce future carbon emissions and to prepare for likely climate change impacts. In line with new reporting requirements this year, it also shares progress on the way in which spending plans and use of resources are being aligned with emissions reduction and achievement of related targets. The Carbon Management Plan Annual Report expands on the corporate emissions part of the required report, recording a 49% emissions reduction compared to the 2012/13 baseline. Both reports are available on our Climate Action Plan webpage.

Adaptation and Nature-Based Solutions

Natural habitats play a crucial role in addressing climate mitigation and adaptation, while also delivering benefits for biodiversity. Opportunities are currently being identified for urban greening projects, meadow and grassland creation, and wetland and peatland initiatives in East Dunbartonshire. Further details of these projects and of other nature-based solutions will be shared in future editions of the CAP Newsletter.

Related Strategies

The Local Housing Strategy (LHS) for East Dunbartonshire is currently being revised and will include a stronger focus on climate change. Housing plays a key role in reducing emissions and helping communities to adapt to the projected increase in extreme weather events caused by climate change, and the LHS will reflect this - setting out actions that will support the wider mitigation and adaptation goals of the CAP. The Draft LHS 2023-28 has been co-produced with approximately 80 stakeholders, including tenants and tenant organisations, and is being submitted to the Scottish Government in November for peer review, with final adoption anticipated in early 2023.

The Draft Circular Economy Strategy for East Dunbartonshire has been produced following liaison with internal Council services and external partners and businesses. Following recent Committee approval, it is now being published for consultation. The consultative draft, and details of how to comment, will be available on the Circular Economy Strategy webpage

COP27

The 27th UN climate summit – the ‘Conference of the Parties’ – is taking place in Egypt from 6-18 November and puts climate change on the world stage again, following COP26 in Glasgow last year. In line with the Glasgow Climate Pact, negotiators are seeking emission-reduction commitments that ‘keep 1.5 alive’ by limiting global average temperature rise. Adaptation will also be a key focus, as will progress on addressing loss and damage resulting from climate change. The Council will be following developments with an eye to the implications for local priorities such as the emerging green skills agenda.

Over to You

In addition to sharing details of work already happening, the purpose of this newsletter is to stimulate further action. There are many ways that you can make a difference, either as an individual or as part of a group. Here are our top three suggestions for the current season:

  • Do an efficiency check
    Energy is headline news, with rising bills being a concern for many. Is your home energy-efficient? Measures such as insulation, draught-proofing, lower-energy appliances and ‘temperature zoning’ can make a difference. Visit home energy scotland for advice and possible financial support.
  • Have a climate conversation
    COP27 will address a variety of themes – including Just Transition, food security and energy – which could stimulate useful debate and follow-up activity at a local level.
  • Plan a green Christmas
    The festive season can often be one of over-consumption, but there are numerous opportunities to decorate, eat and give gifts in a low-impact way. Why not challenge friends and family to compete for the accolade of ‘most creative idea’? Visit WWF’s ‘Top Tips for a Sustainable Christmas’ for inspiration 

Please email any comments or enquiries to sustainability@eastdunbarton.gov.uk

Summer 22

Welcome to the fifth edition of the Climate Action Plan (CAP) Newsletter, which provides an update on key climate change developments following our Spring 2022 edition.

Climate Action Plan

Work is progressing on the CAP, with the recent round of service specific meetings concluding and working group meetings resuming.The main aim of recent meetings is to assess opportunities for reducing and responding to climate change. These opportunities will then be fed into a range of alternative 'pathways to net zero', which will be presented to elected members in the form of an Options Report.

Climate Change Reporting

Compilation of East Dunbartonshire Council’s annual climate change reports for 2021/22 has begun. The Council publishes two reports: a ‘Public Bodies Climate Change Duties’ report which is required by the Scottish Government, and a Carbon Management Plan Annual Report, a voluntary report which expands on the corporate emissions part of the required report. This year, the Council’s corporate emissions will be discussed in relation to two reduction targets; in addition to the target of 59% reduction against the original 2012/13 baseline, a new target of 27% reduction was set last year against a 2019/20 baseline. Reporting against this new baseline year is part of the transition towards a fuller emissions accounting process that will be formally adopted when the CAP is published.  Last year, a 52% reduction was reported in relation to the 2012/13 baseline.

Adaptation and Nature-Based Solutions

In conjunction with our Adaptation and Nature-Based Solutions Working Group, we have recently finalised our Key Climate Risk and Opportunity Assessment. This work builds on the new UK Climate Change Risk Assessment and the existing Glasgow City Region Climate Ready Clyde Risk and Opportunity Assessment. This uses data on extreme weather events along with weather trends and patterns identified within our Local Climate Impacts Profile (LCLIP) and sets out key risks and opportunities for the Council, each being given a scoring based on likelihood and impacts of risks, urgency of required action and potential benefits from opportunities.

We are now collating existing and proposed options, actions and projects. These will form the adaptation strand of the CAP and will be developed to avoid or mitigate against identified risks and to take full advantage of any opportunities.

We are also setting up initial meetings with key external stakeholders to better understand organisations’ existing resilience planning arrangements, including integration of adaptation into decision making and governance structures. This information will help guide our options development.

Circular Economy Strategy

The actions for East Dunbartonshire’s Draft Circular Economy Strategy are currently in development. The Draft Strategy, led by the Council in collaboration with the East Dunbartonshire Economic Partnership and the local business community, aims to set out how the Council will make its own processes and material use circular. It will also look at how the Council and its community partners will support businesses to become circular. It aims to help people living and working in East Dunbartonshire to support sustainable businesses and reduce waste.

The Draft Circular Economy Strategy, which will soon be available for public consultation, will tie in with the CAP and various other key local policy agendas. It will also align with the Circular Economy Strategy for Scotland and the proposed Route Map and Circular Economy Bill.  An online webform has been created for submission of suggestions to help shape the Draft Strategy. 

Visit our Circular Economy Strategy page for further information.

Shared Prosperity Fund

A total of £3.53m over three years has been awarded to East Dunbartonshire under the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (SPF), which is a replacement for EU funding and which seeks to boost productivity, pay, jobs and living standards. Investment of this money, which will be overseen by Glasgow City Region, will be determined by the Council, with the draft objectives of the Climate Action Plan playing a key role of decision making. Project delivery will begin in the current financial year and is anticipated to showcase new climate friendly ways of improving community wellbeing.

Local Development Plan 2

The East Dunbartonshire Local Development Plan 2 (LDP2) has been examined by the Scottish Government and is now ready to progress to its final stage. The Plan - which provides a guide to land use throughout East Dunbartonshire and will be used to determine future planning applications - builds on the climate change and wider sustainability measures in the current LDP, taking a more progressive stance. Under the LDP2, applications for new developments should be accompanied by a Sustainability and Energy Statement to demonstrate how their proposals minimise carbon emissions, are resilient to climate change and address other key sustainability criteria. Key points from the examination process include the endorsement of the proposed development strategy - meaning that there is no requirement to release further green belt land at this time – and agreement to continue to safeguard land for a potential new station and associated railway infrastructure at Allander and Westerhill. LDP2 will be taken to a meeting of the full Council for approval by the end of the year.  For further information, visit The Scottish Government Planning and Environmental Appeals Division has more information.

 Please email any comments or enquiries to sustainability@eastdunbarton.gov.uk

Spring 22

Welcome to the fourth edition of the Climate Action Plan (CAP) newsletter, which provides an update on key climate change developments following our winter 2022 edition.

Climate Action Plan

The development of the CAP is well underway, with ongoing consultancy support from Ricardo and subcontractors Element Energy. The calculation of corporate and area wide emissions has been the main focus since our last update, with particular attention being placed on emissions which were not previously included in our corporate carbon reporting.

Recently published Scottish Government guidance on carbon reporting has emphasised the significance of ‘Scope 3’ emissions, i.e. indirect emissions not controlled by the Council. By recalculating our corporate emissions baseline, we can take account of – and take action on - these wider emission sources.

In order to maintain momentum on reducing corporate emissions while this work is underway, the Council approved an Interim Carbon Management Plan at the end of March. Building on the 52% carbon reduction recorded since 2012/13, the Plan – which covers the period until the CAP comes into operation - sets a target of 59% reduction by the end of 2022/23, compared to the same baseline.

To support on-the-ground delivery during this period, a range of Early Actions Measures was also approved by Council at the end of March. The 37 projects, most of which will be delivered within the current financial year, relate mainly to corporate emissions reduction – including estate and fleet decarbonisation - but also include area wide emissions reduction to support the move towards net zero. Climate change adaptation work is also a priority.

Work on long-term action planning has now begun, with meetings being planned to examine mitigation and adaptation opportunities across service areas and to engage local communities.

Other Policies

Work is also ongoing on a variety of other policy agendas which link closely to the CAP.

The development of the three strands (Open Space Strategy, Play Sufficiency Assessment and Green Network) of the Greenspace Strategy (GSS) is underway, with options for each strand currently being discussed with internal and external partners. This work is being carried out alongside the preparation of the CAP, with the intention of implementing some of these outcomes through the GSS.

The emerging Circular Economy Strategy is progressing too and potential actions are in the process of being developed, whilst consultation is being undertaken internally across Council services and externally via a Circular Economy Ambassador Group, bringing together business, third sector and youth representatives to guide the development of the Strategy.

The emerging Food Growing Strategy, which supports the aims of the CAP, is also underway with work currently being undertaken to identify sites to meet waiting list demand.

Plans for area wide emissions reduction are also being developed via the Active Travel Strategy revision process. A full audit of East Dunbartonshire’s off-road active travel network – the first audit of its kind – has recently been completed, with the findings due to be published soon.

Re-Heat

Following the national launch of Re-Heat in January, the scheme is now opening locally. Targeted households will receive direct communications but all East Dunbartonshire residents will have the opportunity to apply, depending on qualifying criteria. The scheme, which aims to decarbonise heat and tackle fuel poverty, is especially relevant in light of recent energy cost rises and will be an important opportunity to demonstrate how local authorities can support communities in future-proofing their homes. Keep an eye on the Council website for further updates.

New Administration

The Sustainability Policy Team will be working with senior management, our Council leaders and all elected members to ensure that we maintain momentum towards setting and delivering a net zero emissions target. Together we will look to ensure the improvement of climate resilience, at both the corporate and area wide level.

 Please email any comments or enquiries to sustainability@eastdunbarton.gov.uk 

Winter 21/22

Welcome to the third and winter edition of the Climate Action Plan (CAP) newsletter, which provides an update on key climate change developments following our autumn edition

Climate Action Plan

In November, the Council was delighted to commission Ricardo Energy and Environment who, together with subcontractors Element Energy, will provide consultancy support to the Council in the development of the CAP. Initial work has focused on agreeing methodologies and obtaining the various datasets necessary to ensure that decision making is based on accurate, up to-date evidence. CAP governance arrangements have now been agreed, with the establishment of thematic working groups which will report to the new Climate Change Member Officer Group (MOG) comprising elected members, senior management and other key Council officers. The inaugural meeting of the MOG took place in early February and a series of proposed ‘early actions’ were agreed to help the Council progress climate change mitigation and adaptation ahead of the CAP being finalised in 2023.

Council Climate Plan Scorecards

Despite our CAP being at an early stage, the Council’s climate change work has achieved an above average score on the recently issued Climate Emergency UK Scorecards. The scoring process, which examined 325 plans across the UK, was undertaken in advance of the preparation of our CAP and so only takes into account our pre-existing climate action. However, we scored 11% higher than the average for Scottish and English Councils and were placed 9th highest in Scotland - the highest after Glasgow in the Glasgow City Region. Our commitment and integrated approach received particular praise and our lower scoring areas of governance, development and target-setting are now being addressed.

COP26

COP 26 which took place shortly after our last newsletter was issued, shone a global spotlight on Glasgow and the surrounding areas  The international event provided an important opportunity to extend local awareness and initiate new action, including East Dunbartonshire’s Climate Change Challenge for schools. This initiative, which was launched in September, saw primary and secondary pupils undertaking a variety of research projects and coming together on the last day of COP26 to share their findings in an online conference. This work, and the resources it created, will leave an important legacy as schools continue to work together to tackle the challenge of climate change.

Re-Heat

Following the preview in our autumn newsletter, the Re-Heat project has now been launched nationally, with East Dunbartonshire proudly hosting one of only three Scottish trials. This innovative £5 million project - led by Scottish Power Energy Networks and supported by Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks and E.ON - will see 50 homes in East Dunbartonshire benefit from a total investment of £1.09 million. Through the installation of heat pumps connected to thermal storage units, the trial will seek to explore how decarbonisation of heating can be undertaken across the region and will help to inform the emerging Local Heat and Energy Efficiency Strategy, which aims to decarbonise buildings across East Dunbartonshire to reduce emissions and tackle fuel poverty.

Greenspace

Local greenspace is set to benefit from two documents currently under preparation. The Greenspace Strategy, due to be issued soon for public consultation, will replace the Open Space Strategy and Green Network Strategy and will take a holistic, partnership approach to protecting and enhancing greenspaces while supporting the objectives of the CAP by providing carbon sequestration and flood mitigation opportunities. The preparation of the strategy has benefited from the recent publication of draft Scottish Government guidance on open space strategies and on ‘Developing with Nature’. A Greenspace Improvement Plan has also been prepared for the Waterside area of Kirkintilloch and will be presented to Committee soon.

Regional Adaptation Forum

Alongside work to reduce emissions, progress has also been made on climate change adaptation. Under Flagship Action 1 of the new Glasgow City Region Adaptation Strategy and Action Plan [ opens in a new window], the first meeting of the Local Authority Regional Adaptation Forum was held in December, co-chaired by East Dunbartonshire Council.

This forum seeks to support member councils’ efforts to develop their own local adaptation agendas and initial priorities include embedding adaptation in Local Development Plans and capital investment decisions.

The Forum will also oversee other Flagship Actions which will support the development of our CAP, including developing climate-resilient supply chains and helping communities to shape climate-ready places.

Please email any comments or enquiries to sustainability@eastdunbarton.gov.uk

Autumn 21

Welcome to the second Climate Action Plan (CAP) newsletter, which provides an update on key climate change developments following our first newsletter in June, with a particular focus on COP26.

COP26

This has been a busy year in general for climate change interest and activity in East Dunbartonshire, but autumn has seen a particular surge with the approach of COP26. The 26th UN climate summit - or ‘Conference of the Parties’ - is taking place in our neighbouring local authority area of Glasgow from 31 October until 12 November and will shine a global spotlight on our corner of the world. This international event presents a unique opportunity for us all to consider our role in responding to the climate emergency and East Dunbartonshire Council is keen to celebrate the various ways that partnership action across our communities is helping us to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change.

Schools’ Climate Change Challenge

P6 -S3 pupils across East Dunbartonshire are competing for the chance to present at their own mini climate change conference on the last day of COP26. The challenge was launched on 6 September and encourages classes to research how to transition to net zero emissions while adapting to the evident effects of local climate change. Teachers and pupils are working alongside sustainability, transport, housing, drainage, flood risk and biodiversity experts at the council - and with Skills Development Scotland and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland - to investigate solutions to the climate emergency and consider creative ways to communicate their messages.

Re-Heat

The Council is partnering with Scottish Power Energy Networks (SPEN) and energy supplier E.ON to bring £1.019 million of external investment into East Dunbartonshire via the ‘Re-Heat’ project, which will support the objectives of the Climate Action Plan and help tackle fuel poverty by piloting heat decarbonisation technologies in homes. Further information on this initiative will be available soon.

Circular Economy

Local businesses are being encouraged to share their views on sustainability as work begins to draft a Circular Economy Strategy for East Dunbartonshire. An online survey is running until 10 November and Council officers have been attending online Business Gateway events to highlight the opportunities presented by the circular economy agenda and its links to climate change. 

Climate Change Policy

The Council is continuing with work to reduce its own carbon footprint, with our annual climate change and carbon management reports due to be presented to the Council’s Place, Neighbourhood & Corporate Assets (PNCA) Committee on 11 November. We are also continuing with the preparation of the new East Dunbartonshire Climate Action Plan and associated Local Heat & Energy Efficiency Strategy, which will include a range of actions to support achievement of net zero emissions - both within the Council and across East Dunbartonshire as a whole. The Plan and Strategy will also focus on actions to support householders and businesses - for example, by improving energy efficiency and supporting a switch to renewable energy, which has taken on greater urgency as energy costs rise.

The Council is also continuing to progress a range of other plans and strategies that support climate action. Early engagement has recently concluded on the emerging Greenspace Strategy and revised Active Travel Strategy, and the comments received - which are now being carefully considered - will help guide the development of the draft versions of these Strategies, which will be prepared in tandem with the Climate Action Plan. Consultation on the draft versions will follow in 2022.

Other Events

A wide variety of events are taking place online and in person to celebrate COP26, including local initiatives such as the ‘Pilgrimage for COP26’ (which will travel through East Dunbartonshire), a series of Eco-Congregation Scotland activities and a daily programme of Green Zone events which members of the public can attend for free, subject to availability. For further information on the COP26 conference, official events, fringe events and practical considerations, visit

The next CAP newsletter will be a winter edition, with subsequent issues being made available quarterly.

Please email any comments or enquiries to sustainability@eastdunbarton.gov.uk

Summer 21

Welcome to the first Climate Action Plan (CAP) newsletter. The launch of CAP newsletters was announced during Stage 1 of East Dunbartonshire’s Climate Conversation which was held between March and May this year. The purpose of the newsletters is to share information on how the CAP is progressing, including updates on related policy work.

Climate Conversation and Next Steps

Stage 1 of the Climate Conversation, which concluded on 2 May, saw 207 people share their thoughts, questions and ideas on a range of themes, including strong support for active travel, heat networks, reduction of single-use items and protection of biodiversity.

The consultation findings are summarised in the Report of Consultation for Stage 1 of the Climate Conversation, which was presented to Council on 17 June and is available on the Council’s website.

Using these comments as a basis for discussions, the CAP project team will now liaise with relevant Council services to consider what policy and action-planning arrangements will be appropriate in order to cut carbon emissions and help us adapt to the climate change that is already happening.

The consultation comments will also inform other relevant plans and strategies, as highlighted below.

Climate Emergency

The Report of Consultation was presented to and accepted by Council on 17 June alongside the findings of the recently-completed Local Heat and Energy Efficiency Strategy (LHEES) pilot project, the proposed programme for the CAP and the Glasgow City Region Adaptation Strategy and Action Plan. In response, Council recognised the climate emergency that we face and noted the proposed programme for the preparation of the CAP and LHEES in response to that emergency. Council noted the high levels of concern for climate change evidenced through the consultation.

Related Strategies

At the meeting on 17 June, Council also endorsed the Glasgow City Region Adaptation Strategy and
Action Plan. The decade-long document was produced by the Climate Ready Clyde consortium - of which the EDC is a member - and was approved by Glasgow City Region Cabinet on 1 June 2021. Launched on 29 June, it sets ambitious targets in response to the anticipated climate change impacts across the region and those already being experienced, aiming to increase the resilience of the 140,000 residents considered most vulnerable.

Councillor Andrew Polson, Joint Leader, East Dunbartonshire Council and Chair of Glasgow City Region Land Use and Sustainability Portfolio, said “The ambitious and robust Adaptation Strategy and Action Plan will help drive action, mobilise resources and build a Glasgow City Region that flourishes in the future climate. The Strategy not only identifies the actions we need to take, but sets out what is needed to enable delivery, including increasing adaptation financing. I look forward to working with others across the Region to bring the Strategy and Action Plan to life."

Various other strategy documents relevant to climate change are being developed by the Council, including two which are open for public consultation currently or in the near future:

A new Active Travel Strategy is being prepared, with consultation having started in May and running until 28 September. Members of the public can share suggestions via the interactive Ideas Map, online discussion sessions and paper forms. More information is available on the Active Travel Discussion homepage.

Consultation on the emerging Greenspace Strategy will begin in July and run until early September, and local communities are encouraged to share comments and ideas on local open space, play provision and the green network. Contributions can be made via the online ideas map, online surveys and online consultation events.

Details will be published soon on the Council’s Climate Action Plan webpage and social media channels.

The Council will also commence work on a new 5-year Local Housing Strategy (LHS) during July, setting out a strategic vision for the future of housing across all tenures and seeking to address a range of priorities including climate change-related issues such as energy efficiency, fuel poverty, housing quality and regeneration. The LHS will be developed through a process of research and consultation with a range of partners including tenants, residents, registered social landlords , elected members, service providers and other statutory bodies. Further information is available from the Policy and Strategy Team on 0300 123 4510.

Additionally, work has commenced on the production of an LHEES as part of the wider CAP production process, to tackle emissions from
the use of energy in buildings - including for heat - across East Dunbartonshire. A pilot project was recently undertaken to examine opportunities and implications for achieving net zero emissions in buildings within two pilot areas in Bearsden and Milngavie and then to scale up the findings to the whole of East Dunbartonshire. Energy efficiency and low-carbon heat measures were both found to be crucial, with the average decarbonisation cost for domestic properties ranging from £15,000 to £24,000 per property, leading to a total cost of £1 billion across East Dunbartonshire’s 50,000 homes. Through the production of the LHEES, Council officers will examine how these costs could be met.