Councils can't contribute to climate change without the cash to do so

The Scottish Government’s 2045 Climate Change Targets will not be met as local authorities will be forced to use ageing, high-emission vehicles on a daily basis, councils have warned today (Wednesday).

The Scottish Government draft budget falls far short of what COSLA considers a fair settlement for Local Government.  It results in a £95m (£300m real terms) cut to revenue and £117m (£130m real terms) cut to capital budgets. The impact of these cuts will continue to be felt.

COSLA Environment and Economy Spokesperson Councillor Steven Heddle said:

“This budget in no way recognises that we are facing a climate emergency nor the role of Local Government in addressing the challenges.

“The risks are clear. This is a budget which heavily impedes our ability to help Scotland meet these targets. If the Government are serious about addressing climate change then protecting services such as school and community transport, waste collection, gritting, and roads maintenance should be top of their agenda.

“Cuts to council budgets means cuts to public transport – forcing more people to travel by car and an end to critical investment in active travel.

“To truly tackle the climate emergency, we need to provide services in a different way, Local Government is eager to be a leader in the fight to tackle climate change, but resources are needed. Instead of additional resource to allow investment in emission-reducing infrastructure, energy efficiency measures and digital services delivery, we have seen a cut to the Local Government budget. This must be addressed if we are serious about tackling climate change.

“We are calling on the Government and the Parliament to address these concerns, listen to our asks and allow investment in essential council services which can make a real difference in the fight against climate change.”

Article published: 
Wed, 26/02/2020 - 15:16