Lanarkshire councils react to assessment of their climate action plans

Both North and South Lanarkshire Councils have had their climate action plans scrutinized and scored by campaigners.

Climate Emergency UK published the ratings for each local authority the UK, using 28 questions to assess the plans.

The average score across Scotland was 46 per cent, with North Lanarkshire recording a higher score than its neighbour.

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That saw them reach a rating of 52 per cent, compared with South Lanarkshire’s 44 per cent.

Both councils have now reacted to how they feel their scores reflect their plan’s effectiveness in helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Alistair McKinnon, head of facilities, waste and grounds services, at SLC said: “We are committed to tackling the climate change emergency and have taken numerous steps over recent years, including establishing a Climate Change and Sustainability Committee.

“We had no input into the findings of this report and believe it fails to take into account the huge strides we have made, such as reducing our carbon footprint. As well as being out of date, we do not believe it to be accurate.

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“Latest figures showed that carbon produced by SLC had been cut by 65 per cent since the baseline year of 2005/06.

“Any data contained in the report would have been based on our last Climate Change and Sustainability strategy which runs to March 2022.

“We are in the process of producing a new strategy for 2022-27 that is due to be published later in the year.”

Over in North Lanarkshire, they felt that the report failed to show that they had reduced their own emissions as well as highlight their social media campaign around climate change in the lead up to COP26.

A NLC spokesman told us: “We scored a favorable 52 per cent, which was above both the Scottish and UK average.

“As this is a one-off assessment – ​​a snap shot in time – we are aware it does not capture the entirety of our commitment to the climate agenda, nor does it include some of our notable activity.

“What really matters is the council’s performance in terms of lowering its own emissions and encouraging other sectors in North Lanarkshire to do so too.

“The council has made good progress with its recently reported carbon footprint indicating a reduction of 21.72 per cent from the previous year and an overall reduction of 48.44 per cent from the baseline year (2015/16).

“In the lead up to COP26, the council undertook an unprecedented social media campaign as well as delivering three virtual events under the council’s climate banner Action on Climate Together. These events were highly successful with over 8000 attendees.

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“The new Climate Plan ACT2030 will be available from mid-February and signifies the beginning of what will be our refreshed strategic approach to climate change and therefore underpinning the council’s commitment to the climate emergency and its own target of net-zero by 2030.”

Full results for all councils in the UK can be found here.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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