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Audit Scotland must investigate ‘worrying gaps’ in climate-change strategy

On the eve of COP26, the Scottish Conservatives are calling for Audit Scotland to investigate how climate change is tackled across different levels of government in Scotland.

Research into numerous local authority climate-change plans found “worrying gaps” in scrutiny and planning.

The Scottish Conservatives analysis found that the Scottish Government does very little work with councils on their climate-change plans.

Research conducted by Scottish Conservative Chief Whip Stephen Kerr MSP examined responses from 11 councils – including local authorities run by SNP, Conservative and Labour administrations – and found little action had been delivered.

The impact of the SNP-Greens’ hands-off approach is all over these findings, and undermines the critical role councils need to play in tackling climate change.

Scottish Conservative Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport, Liam Kerr MSP, said: “This report reveals worrying gaps in how climate-change targets are being tackled at different levels of government in Scotland.

“It’s necessary for Audit Scotland to investigate the flaws in the current approach so that the shortcomings can be urgently addressed by the Scottish Government.

“The lack of a joined-up approach between councils and government is apparent. This research reveals a shortage of guidance, scrutiny and planning from the top down.

“Control over local government is devolved to the SNP government, and the scrutiny of that falls under the remit of Audit Scotland.

“That’s why it’s so important the country’s watchdog gets involved in this crucial issue - before it’s too late.

 

“Without Audit Scotland intervention, there is a real risk that the SNP Government will continue to miss their climate-change targets, as they have for years.”

Scottish Conservative Chief Whip, Stephen Kerr MSP, said: “This report should spur parties across the political spectrum and politicians at every level of government into action.

“It is clear that climate-change plans are insufficient and Scotland could achieve much more if councils and government worked more closely together.”

Notes

The full research document can be found here: https://www.stephenkerr.org.uk/sites/www.stephenkerr.org.uk/files/2021-10/Scottish%20Local%20Authority%20Climate%20Change%20Findings%20Final%202.pdf