D&G Council View report on Climate Emergency Declaration and implementation

Climate Emergency Declaration

At the first meeting of the new Economy and Resources (E&R) Committee, Members of Dumfries and Galloway Council will receive a report on the Climate Emergency Declaration – implementation and resourcing.

The Declaration was agreed at Full Council in June of this year where a 12-point plan of commitments was agreed, to be overseen by a Climate Emergency cross-party working group. As part of the same agreement, and one of the actions of the plan, Councillor Dougie Campbell has been appointed as the Council’s Environment Champion.

The report suggests that all Political Groups nominate one Member each for membership of the working group. The first meeting of this will be held in early October with future meetings to be held on a bi-monthly basis. Members of E&R will be asked to consider Terms of Reference for this group. The agenda for the first meeting may include familiarisation of activities around the climate emergency and options to establish a Citizens’ Panel.

After reviewing the 12-point plan it has been recognised that there will be a need for dedicated resources to support actions. A review of other local authorities has identified the need for a dedicated officer, for a fixed period of 2 years, to coordinate the development, delivery and monitoring of the Climate Change Strategic Action Plan. This will be the vehicle to assess the council’s performance and how it is adapting to climate change and to monitor the reduction of carbon emissions and energy management.

With the current position and science on climate change and associated activities evolving, the proposed project manager post would provide a conduit for the Council through national bodies and professional networks to identify and adapt emerging activities which will positively impact on our Council’s work and actions, through to providing a national platform to showcase our achievements, efforts and best practices.

Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Climate Champion, Councillor Dougie Campbell said: “Implementation of the 12 point plan will be critical to the Council responding effectively to the climate emergency. There is no question that our most vulnerable people living in Dumfries and Galloway are the most likely to be directly affected by climate change and this must be at the forefront of our minds when developing our strategic action plan.
The report to the Economy and Resources committee will allow elected members to carefully consider the appropriate resourcing and implementation of the 12 point plan and represents the point at which we start work on achieving net carbon neutral status by 2025.
I’m very much looking forward to the inaugural meeting of our cross party working group and I’m particularly keen to commence planning for our citizens panel. It will be crucial to ensure that we engage with communities and businesses and access their expertise. Dumfries and Galloway Council is committed to Community Empowerment and what better example could there be than working in partnership to respond to the climate emergency. As well as representing a radical and comprehensive step change to the Council’s approach to climate change, the 12 point plan is also a clear opportunity for Dumfries and Galloway to be a leader in the worldwide response to the climate emergency and, represents a significant opportunity for the economic growth and development of our region.”

The report and 12-point declaration can be viewed on our website at:

https://dumfriesgalloway.moderngov.co.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=551&MId=4834

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