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New database on climate change

08/11/2007

A new dedicated database of information - the Climate Change Tools Database - to help councils co-ordinate their efforts to reduce emissions and combat climate change is now available.

It was announced today as part of the affirmation of the the Scottish Government's commitment to Scotland's Climate Change Declaration - which pledges action by local Government with support from the Scottish Government

In addition to the database there are:

  • Plans for a pilot of Local Climate Impacts Profiles, allowing communities to understand the opportunities and threats from a changing climate
  • Plans for a Scottish adaptation strategy
  • Publication of A Programme of Support for Scottish Local Government, which considers how councils might be supported in contributing to the Scottish Government's sustainable development and climate change objectives

At the Sustainable Scotland Network conference in Edinburgh, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth John Swinney said:

"Local authorities have a critical contribution to make if Scotland is going to take a global lead in the fight against climate change. With support from the Sustainable Scotland Network and others, councils have already made significant strides in addressing climate change.

"Moving forward, councils have a key contribution to make in delivering the ambitious targets in our proposed Climate Change Bill. They will be the front line in safeguarding communities from the unavoidable impacts of a changing climate. Councils need the right tools for the job: up-to-date information, advice and guidance. That is what we are giving them.

"The climate change tools database will guide councils to the right solution to tackle climate change based on their needs, using a comprehensive list of mitigation and adaptation tools and programmes. There are also plans to tender for a pilot of local climate impacts profiles, which will look in detail at community level threats and opportunities presented by climate change."

Councillor Alison Hay, CoSLA Regeneration and Sustainable Development Spokesperson said:

"CoSLA welcomes the launch today of the Climate Change Tools Database. This is a real example of a number of bodies, committed to addressing climate change, coming together to produce a valuable resource on which councils can draw. I want to see less talk and more action and this is exactly that, helping councils in a practical way deliver on their Climate Change Declaration commitments."

Mr Swinney also confirmed the Scottish Government would produce an adaptation strategy or Scotland, which will guide action to cope with the unavoidable climate changes.

He said:

"Scotland is already feeling the effects of a changing climate with rising temperatures and a higher frequency of winter storms. Local authorities will make a vital contribution to help communities deal with the impacts of climate change.

"The Scottish adaptation strategy will look at the challenges and opportunities of a changing climate and identify priority adaptation action required in Scotland. This will be consulted on in 2008."

Proposals for a Scottish Climate Change Bill, to be consulted on around the turn of the year, is likely to include the following proposals:

  • statutory targets for 2050 and interim carbon budget periods or targets, set ten or more years in advance
  • mandatory annual reporting
  • source of independent advice and monitoring
  • any provisions needed to deliver policies to meet the 2050 target or adapt to climate change, either primary legislation or enabling powers to allow proposals to be taken forward through future secondary legislation

The Scottish Government will respond this year to the EU Green Paper, Adapting to climate change in Europe - options for EU action, released in June 2007. The Scottish Government also supports the UK Adaptation Policy Framework.

The Climate Change Tools Database was funded by the Scottish Government and collated by the Scottish Climate Change Impacts Partnership, co-ordinated by the Scotland and Northern Ireland Forum for Environmental Research (SNIFFER).

The Scottish Government also part funds the Local Footprints project on carbon footprinting for local authorities published today - the Right Climate for Change.

The planned pilot of Local Climate Impacts Profiles is funded by Scottish Environment Protection Agency and is being delivered by SNIFFER under the Scottish Climate Change Impacts Partnership (SCCIP).

The Scottish Government is represented on the Scottish Local Authority Climate Change Programme Development Group which has been established to support local authorities in delivering commitments in Scotland's Climate Change Declaration. Also represented on this Group are: the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA); the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives (SOLACE) - Scotland; the Improvement Service; the Sustainable Scotland Network (chair); the Energy Saving Trust; the Carbon Trust; the Local Support Programme; the UK Climate Impacts Programme; and the Scotland and Northern Ireland Forum for Environmental Research (SNIFFER).