All levels of government must work together to address climate change – says COSLA.

Cllr Steven Heddle, COSLA Spokesperson for Economy and Environment, attending the UN COP 23 meeting in Bonn said that all levels of government must work together to address climate change, if we are to meet the Paris CO2 target.  


Yesterday November 12, Cllr Steven Heddle, COSLA Spokesperson for Economy and Environment, attended the Local Climate Summit for Regional and Local Leaders in Bonn Germany. The Local Summit is the primary formal engagement for local and regional government to be held at the COP23 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) round of international climate negotiations. Attended by local and regional leaders from across the globe, the discussion centred on integrating climate and sustainability across all policy sectors, community engagement, transboundary cooperation and multi-level governance.


Scottish Local Government strongly welcomes the global UN Paris Climate Agreement and the recognition that it will be local level action that will be crucial to achieving targets for limiting global warming. This is critical given that the UN has recently reported that national contributions to UNFCCC are so far only a third of what is required to meet the minimum 2oC goal.


Cllr Heddle used the opportunity to meet Roseanna Cunningham, Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform where they discussed the need for all levels of government to work together to address climate change. Cllr Heddle also met with colleagues from the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) including Vice-President Gunn Marit Helgesen of the Norwegian association and members from the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) delegation.



Cllr Heddle said: “Scottish Local Authorities are committed to mitigating the worst effects of climate change and to adapting to provide for more resilient communities and energy efficient public services.


“As the democratically elected representatives of local communities, we believe that decisions that impact on them need to be taken at local authority level. Whilst this may result in different solutions being implemented, this is a reflection of the very real difference in local priorities and circumstances and is an illustration of the necessary complexities of the transition to a low carbon society. This is also the great strength of our system of Local Government, the ability to tailor approaches to local needs and address local issues within the context of national and international objectives.


“Scottish Local Government believes that key to the success of international agreements for sustainability is to ensure they are supported as much locally, in terms of policy, legislation and funding, as they are internationally. Although agreements decided at international level, targets will be realised at local level, impacting on communities and citizens. We therefore need to raise awareness of these international agendas among local policy makers and service providers so they become shared objectives.



We welcome further collaboration with the Scottish Government on implementing international agreements for sustainability in Scotland.”

Cllr Heddle with CEMR Vice-President Gunn Marit Helgesen of the Norwegian association KS, Cllr Heddle with CEMR

Article published: 
Mon, 13/11/2017 - 11:34