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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 for West Dunbartonshire

To contribute towards meeting these targets nationally, 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 year.

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.