Dundee Climate Leadership Group


11th November 2020

A Dundee Climate Leadership Group could be established to bolster local efforts to tackle climate change and help achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions for the city in the next 25 years.

Councillors on the city council’s policy and resources committee will consider two reports on Monday November 16 outlining the Dundee Partnership’s journey so far and its plans for the future.

Councillors will be told that significant additional investment will be required for emissions reduction activities if the city is to meet its target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045 or sooner.

They are being asked to agree that the council leader writes to members of the Scottish Government seeking a meeting to explore funding opportunities that will support the city in advancing its climate ambitions.

The committee is also being asked to approve that officers engage with other Scottish Local Authorities and the city of Glasgow to pursue joint opportunities in advance of the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 in November 2021.

They will hear that over the last 13 years, the council has slashed its carbon footprint by 42% and in the last reporting period, over £5 million was invested by the local authority in carbon reduction initiatives.

Following the declaration of a climate emergency by the city council last year, a Dundee Climate Action Plan was launched with the backing of local companies and organisations.

A report to be considered by councillors on November 16 explains that the successful delivery of that target requires the buy-in, support and leadership of citizens, the third sector, and the private sector.

It is recommended that a high-level Dundee Climate Leadership Group is established to bring together leading individuals from across the city.

The group would provide expert advice, and encouragement in progressing Dundee's contribution to tackling climate change.

The Group would support collaborations to deliver innovative solutions and projects working towards a net-zero future for Dundee.

Council leader John Alexander said: “Despite the many challenges that the pandemic has presented, we are absolutely committed to these ambitious targets as sustainability becomes even more important for the city’s future.

“But we realise that there is significant investment is required and we need to raise this nationally to ensure the city can take more decisive action.

“This new leadership group would help to strengthen the already impressive partnerships that exist and reach out to involve even more people to be involved.

“We need to engage with the city’s people and get them to support us through action. It will take a huge effort, but I am convinced this is action we need to be taking now.

“The health emergency is quite rightly taking precedence just now, but we cannot forget our long-term obligations to do as much as we can in response to the climate emergency.

“Our city has made serious investment already with the energy centre at the Regional Performance Centre for Sport and Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc showing how we are looking to the future.

“I am keen to speak to both the Scottish and UK governments about funding as this issue is vital for the future.

“We have spent nearly £60 million over the last three years to tackle climate change and our Capital Plan agreed earlier this year identified further spending of £83 million for similar projects over the next five years, with further allocations of £25 million in future years.”

Councillors will hear that. as far as possible, the group should include representation from public bodies, universities, environmental groups, electricity and gas distribution network operators, the local business community, financial services, manufacturers and entrepreneurs/Innovators.

It is proposed that an independent organisation should take the chair role with the council providing a vice-chair role.

Meanwhile, a separate item on the agenda looks at the council’s return for 2019/20 under its public bodies’ climate change duties.

The report details how the council’s carbon footprint reduced by 3.4% over that time.

Councillors will also hear that during 2019/20, the council continued to invest in carbon reduction initiatives.

This included £2.5m for energy efficiency improvements in public buildings, schools, community centres and car parks; £2.4 million for External Wall Insulation for homes in Stirling Park, Dudhope and Law Crescent; £721,720 investment in LED streetlamp replacement and £50,000 in waste reduction programmes.

Dundee City Council

Dundee draws skilled workers from a 60-minute catchment population of 640,000 and has a local population of over 140,000. The availability of a large pool of highly skilled labour is a key feature in the Dundee economy. Flexibility in the labour force is currently more prevalent in Dundee than in Scotland as a whole. All forms of labour market flexibility - part-time, temporary employment, self-employment and shift work - are widely operational within the city. Labour force stability in the city is excellent, enabling companies to plan with confidence. Labour turnover levels are less than 5% and absenteeism averages 2%.

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