A Survey of Scottish Local Authority Activities on Climate Change

May 2005


Background to research

Climate Change is an issue of increasing concern, with impacts already being felt at a global, national and local level and much more significant impacts predicted for future decades. It presents a range of challenges and opportunities to policy makers, businesses and society as a whole.

To evaluate the current Scottish local authority response to climate change, the Scotland and Northern Ireland Forum for Environmental Research (SNIFFER) appointed CAG Consultants to undertake research. The research was funded by the Scottish Executive and supported by the Sustainable Scotland Network (SSN), UK Climate Impacts Programme (UKCIP) and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA).

Objectives of research

The specific aims of the research were:

The evidence base for this report was drawn from reviewing relevant information on websites and publications, a survey sent to Chief Executives and Sustainable Scotland Network Officers and telephone interviews to 8 local authorities. A total of 25 of Scotland's 32 local authorities responded to the survey.

Key findings and recommendations

The research highlighted good practice from a number of Scottish local authorities, both at the strategic level and in terms of service level response. However, it also suggests that the following actions could help promote further action on climate change:

The research found widespread support for the establishment of a new Scottish Local Government Network on Climate Change and interest in local authority involvement in a wider Climate Change Network drawing together public, private and voluntary sector organisations.

Key words: [climate change, local government, adaptation, mitigation]

Copies of this report are available from the Foundation in electronic format on CDRom at 20.00 + VAT or hard copy at 15.00

N.B. The report is available for download from the SNIFFER Website