A Climate Action Plan (CAP) is currently being prepared to set out the steps we will take in East Dunbartonshire to support the Scottish Government's ambitious targets to secure a 75% reduction in carbon emissions (compared to 1990) by 2030, to achieve net zero emissions by 2045 (as set out in Scotland’s 2018-2032 Climate Change Plan Update) and to set a local strategy for climate change adaptation.
The CAP will build on the considerable progress the Council has already made in reducing our own carbon footprint in line with our Carbon Management Plan 2015-20. As set out in our seventh annual report on progress, the Council’s own corporate carbon emissions have fallen 49% between 2012-13 and 2021-22. . To maintain the momentum until the CAP is introduced in 2023, an Interim Carbon Management Plan 2021-23 has been produced. Work is also under way to deliver a range of actions - contained in the Sustainability & Climate Change Framework (SCCF) Action Plan, which was approved by Council in December 2019 and updated in September 2021 - to tackle climate change and fulfil our sustainability ambitions. A progress report on the delivery of the SCCF Action Plan between December 2019 and March 2021 was approved by Committee in September 2021.
Efforts to reduce carbon emissions at an area-wide level are also being pursued through a range of Council strategies, including the Local Housing Strategy, Local Transport Strategy, Local Development Plan 2 and Economic Recovery Plan. A range of other work - including the delivery of our Flood Risk Management Plan, which is vital in responding to the increasing and intensifying rainfall experienced as a result of climate change - is important to help increase our resilience as weather patterns change.
A full update on the Council’s recent climate change achievements is available in our seventh annual climate change report to the Scottish Government.
The Council is also a partner with Climate Ready Clyde which has developed Glasgow City Region’s first Adaptation Strategy and Action Plan launched in June 2021, ahead of COP26 in Glasgow. The Strategy aims to ensure Glasgow City Region’s economy, society and environment is not only prepared for, but continues to flourish in the face of the impacts arising from the climate crisis. As part of preparing Glasgow City Region’s Adaptation Strategy and Action Plan, a number of assessments were carried out to consider the social and environmental impacts of the Strategy. The Strategy and Action Plan along with all related impact assessments.
The preparation of the CAP began with Stage 1 of the ‘Climate Conversation’, which ran from 8 March – 2 May 2021,consisted of online surveys and events. This process, and various subsequent consultations with internal and external stakeholders, have allowed the Council to capture local public opinion on climate change and related issues, and to discuss potential actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve our resilience to the accelerating impacts of climate change. The Report of Consultation for Stage1 of the Climate Conversation is available within the documents section of this page. Further community consultation was carried out in June 2022 and January 2023. A draft CAP is scheduled to be published for public consultation in late 2023.
A variety of existing and emerging Council strategies will support the objectives of the CAP and are being prepared in a joined-up way; these include the Active Travel Strategy, the Greenspace Strategy and the Circular Economy Strategy. The comments received in relation to the CAP will inform the preparation of these documents
The fair trade movement plays an important role in tackling the causes and effects of climate change. East Dunbartonshire Council is a long-term supporter of fair trade, including via membership of the Scottish Fair Trade Forum.
The Council has launched a CAP Newsletter webpage to share key developments.
Advice on how you can reduce your carbon footprint is available on the Climate Change Resources webpage.
If it's an emergency, do we have time to act?
We do have time, albeit not much. The world's leading climate scientists warned in 2018 that there were only a dozen years left for global warming to be kept in check. So, time is tight, but we do have an opportunity to make a difference and it is crucial that we make the most of it.
If we act but other countries don't, are our efforts wasted?
There are various reasons for us to take action regardless. If we lead by example, we can demonstrate our success to others and encourage them to follow our lead. The actions we can take also have additional benefits, including short-term ones. While our influence on other countries may be limited, we can have confidence in international processes like UN Climate Change Conferences, which bring decision-makers from around the world together to agree on ways to work together on this shared global challenge.
What actions should we prioritise?
Opportunities for action will vary depending on various factors including where you live, what your current lifestyle is like, etc. No action is insignificant, but it's useful to know what the big greenhouse gas emission sources are - in Scotland, transport is the largest contributor (12.9%), followed by businesses (8.4%) and agriculture (7.5%). Energy supply and residential emissions are other key sources.
How will we know what others in East Dunbartonshire are doing to support our efforts?
The action required to tackle climate change is wide and varied. While it will be difficult to collate and share details of all relevant developments, through the emerging Climate Action Plan the Council will aim to share key information about what's happening across the area and the impact that this is having on emissions.