In the year when recovery from the global pandemic and the imminent UN COP26 climate change conference are uppermost in the minds of many, East Ayrshire Council has taken a bold step towards a Clean, Green future with the launch of our new Climate Change Strategy to tackle the challenges of global warming.
The call from our young people
In October 2019 Councillor Claire Leitch, Cabinet member for Children and Young People, Net Zero, Environment and Climate Change, Equalities and Inclusion, was instrumental in working with members of our Children and Young People’s Cabinet to set up and run a Children and Young People’s Climate Conference, which was held in East Ayrshire’s Council Chamber.
One of the major outcomes of that conference was the overwhelming plea from the young delegates. They asked us all to look locally to see what changes we could make, and specified that this should include every function carried out by the Council. We listened…And now we’ve published the results of that call to action with this groundbreaking Climate Change Strategy.
How we're working
We rose to the challenge set by our young people. Our first move was to set up a Members and Officers Working Group (MOWG) which included representatives from the Children and Young People's Cabinet, elected members and officers from every service in the Council.
Since then,we've carried out a comprehensive review of every aspect of our operations, scrutinised where we are on the journey towards cutting our carbon emissions, and come up with plans which will involve every employee - directly or indirectly - in bringing about the changes needed to everything we do and how we do it, to help us achieve our target of becoming a Net Zero council by 2030.
The wider community
While East Ayrshire Council itself is already working towards this target, we recognise that for our area to thrive in a cleaner greener world, we need to work with our residents, businesses and partner organisations to bring changes across the board. So our strategy includes plans for how we will work together to meet the Scottish Government targets for making the whole area Net Zero by 2045.
We've identified four broad themes for our strategy, these are the areas in which we can make a real difference to our carbon emissions:
If you want regular email updates about our progress with our Climate Change Strategy please visit StayConnected and choose Clean Green East Ayrshire - climate change.