Back in 2009, In a drive towards a low carbon economy the Scottish Government set world leading Climate Change targets to reduce Scotland’s carbon emissions by 80% by 2050, with an interim reduction of 42% by 2020.  In 2014 this interim target was met and exceeded (45.8%), originally leading to a new target being set for a reduction of 50% for 2020. These targets present Scotland with significant social and economic opportunities, as well as challenges, and required a range of actions across society and the economy.  The Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009, which details these targets, is regarded as one of the most ambitious Climate Change legislation in the world.

In Scotland’s latest climate plan - 'Climate Change Plan: third report on proposals and policies 2018-2032 (RPP3)' and recent update, further expectations are placed on the public sector to increasingly demonstrate how its own operations are driving down emissions.  RPP3 sets out the path to a low carbon economy while helping to deliver sustainable economic growth and secure the wider benefits to a greener, fairer and healthier Scotland in 2032.  Since the publication of RPP3, a Climate Emergency has been announced, followed by new national emissions reduction targets and the 'Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Act  2019' which details new emission reduction targets for Scotland nationally.  These are:

  • 56% reduction by 2020 (replacing the original 50% target);
  • 75% reduction by 2030;
  • 90% reduction by 2040; and
  • ‘Net Zero’ emissions by 2045.

Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan for West Dunbartonshire

To contribute towards meeting these targets, the Council have developed a new Climate Change Strategy as a route map for 2021-22 and beyond.  It is an overarching Strategy that has set a foundation for a plan of action and response to Scotland’s Climate Emergency and 2045 net zero carbon reduction target. 

In order to achieve net zero by 2045 in line with national interim targets set by Scottish Government, the Council will adopt the following:

  • An interim target of 61% reduction required by 2030/31 financial year;
  • An interim target of 87% reduction required by 2040/41 financial year; and
  • Net zero by end of 2045/46 financial yea

Our Climate Change Action Plan sets out the immediate and longer term actions the Council will take to respond to the Climate Emergency and in achieving net zero emissions by 2045, both in relation to mitigating and adapting to climate change. This plan implements our Climate Change Strategy through a series of high-level actions for the short, medium and long term, setting out the need for action and a high level framework.

Climate Change Adaptation

The Council is taking steps to adapt to the inevitable impacts of climate change.

To help develop this approach, the Council produced a Local Climate Impacts Profile (LCLIP) which aims to build a clear picture of the type, location, severity and previous responses to weather related impacts that have affected West Dunbartonshire in the past, so that the Council and its partners and the community can better plan for the future.

The Council is involved in Climate Ready Clyde, a cross-sector initiative funded by fifteen member organisations and supported by the Scottish Government to create a shared vision, strategy and action plan for an adapting Glasgow City Region.

COP 26

The ‘Conference of Parties (COP)’ is the supreme decision-making body of the Convention.  The United Nations Climate Change Conferences are yearly conferences held in the framework of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). They serve as the formal meeting of the COP to assess progress in dealing with climate change and reducing Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions.

The 26th Conference of Parties (COP26) will be held in Glasgow on the 31st October - 12th November 2021.  It brings together world leaders, government representatives, businesses and citizens for 12 days to discuss how best to tackle climate change.  COP26 is an opportunity to showcase Scotland’s world-leading approach to climate change, strengthen its international partnerships and its commitment to global co-operation to tackle the challenge of the climate crisis. Given the scale and importance of COP26 it presents substantial opportunities for engaging the Scottish public on climate change, ensuring a positive legacy for future generations.

The Council successfully applied to the UK Government’s COP26 ‘Green Zone programme’ for one-day exhibition stall on Thursday 11 November 2021.  This is an excellent opportunity to showcase  Council efforts on Climate Change and Net Zero to the international community, using the West Dunbartonshire Energy Centre  as a case study in how the Council is actively alleviating fuel poverty and reducing carbon emissions from heat in Clydebank.

The ‘Green Zone’ is the space for non-accredited stakeholders (general public, youth groups, civil society, academia, artists, business etc.) to have their voice heard through events, exhibitions, workshops and talks that promote dialogue, awareness, education and commitments.

West Dunbartonshire Energy Centre

Our pioneering district heating system in Clydebank will be showcased to delegates visiting Scotland as part of COP26.

The West Dunbartonshire Energy Centre, which extracted water from the River Clyde to heat homes and public buildings, will be included in exhibits highlighting work being undertaken to achieve net zero targets.

Hosting a stand in the events Green Zone in Glasgow’s Science Centre on Thursday 11 November, officers will share the work that has gone into launching the first large-scale heat pump of its kind in the UK.

Visitors will be able to hear how the system works to reduce carbon emissions crated by heat as well as help to fight fuel poverty.