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Scotland's local authorities were today praised for their activities in addressing climate change....
Scotland's local authorities were today praised for their activities in addressing climate change.

Environment and rural development minister Ross Finnie's praise came as he was announcing the publication of a research report into Scottish local authority activity on climate change.

Mr Finnie said that the report: 'Commends the wide range of actions and initiatives which local authorities have undertaken to address climate change and acknowledges that local authorities have made significant progress. But it also identifies that more can be done: that councils can build on the good work already in place or underway.'

Convention of Scottish Local Authorities environment, sustainability and community safety spokeswoman Alison Hay said: 'This report demonstrates that local authorities are working hard on tackling climate change. Scottish councils are putting in place practical ways of reducing green house gas emissions, while also preparing for the inevitable impacts of global warming, such as increased flooding.

'Only by working together can we hope to make a difference. Local government is the key to this partnership. We can help link the good work of our communities with the efforts of the Scottish Executive, so collectively we can ensure that Scotland plays its part in cutting green house gas emissions.

'The report indicates that words are being turned into action, but I know that local authorities will want to build on this positive report, and I support the ministers call for continued progress.

'COSLA is exploring with the Scottish Executive and our other partners, how together we can provide local authorities with practical assistance to manage green house gas emissions.

'Climate change is everyone's responsibility, and local government and COSLA will look forward to working with our partners in the future to build on the good work highlighted by this research.'

Scottish Executive press release follows.

Global climate change a 'local issue'

All Scots were urged today to play their part in tackling the global threat of climate change.

Environment minister Ross Finnie addressed the Climate Change - Focus on Scotland Conference in Crieff today, where he welcomed findings from a new report on Local Authorities response to climate change, but said more could be done to involve the wider community.

Local authorities across Scotland are taking climate change seriously, bringing in a range of measures to minimise the factors that cause climate change and others to deal with the impacts.

Mr Finnie said:

'The Scottish Executive is committed to tackling the causes of climate change and adapting to its unavoidable impacts but we cannot do it alone.

'I commend the wide range of actions and initiatives which local authorities have taken to address climate change.

'Action has been taken by some to target emissions, save energy and introduce local transport strategies. Other authorities have taken adaptation steps, building flood defences and ensuring community involvement in developing infrastructures to protect landscape and species.

'However, I recognise that more needs to be done to help local authorities work with their communities. Accordingly, the Scottish Executive will develop a Scottish Climate Change Impacts Partnership to support local authorities and other organisations in Scotland to develop a climate change response.

'The public too must recognise that the response to climate change begins at home.'

A Survey of Scottish Local Authority Activity on Climate Change was commissioned by the Scottish and Northern Ireland Forum for Environmental Research and was funded by the Scottish Executive. The report was commissioned to support and inform development of a Scottish Climate Change Impacts Partnership. The research was also supported by the UK Climate Impacts Programme, the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities and the Sustainable Scotland Network.

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