It’s an emergency: City chiefs blasted over climate strategy
GLASGOW City Council needs to act like it is facing a climate emergency, it has been claimed.
Green and Labour councillors have raised concerns over the authority’s refreshed economic and investment strategies.
They feel the plans do not set out an adequate response to climate change.
“As a council we have declared a climate emergency, but this is not an emergency response,” Green councillor Allan Young said.
“Climate change is the overriding concern of our generation, yet there’s no mention in the report of a just transition, a Green New Deal or a carbon neutral city by 2030.
“We are where we are with climate change because of the relentless pursuit of economic growth.”
He put forward an amendment calling for the refreshed economic strategy, for 2016 to 2023, and the updated investment strategy, for 2019 to 2023, to be revised to ensure the policies reflect the climate emergency.
However, despite support from the Labour group, it was voted down by SNP and Tory councillors.
The Tory group added its own amendment to the economic strategy.
Council leader Susan Aitken said the authority has a number of strategic documents, working in tandem, and a climate emergency strategy is being prepared.
Mr Young said the investment strategy welcomed companies that profit from fossil fuel extraction to the city.
Ms Aitken said: “This is not the climate emergency strategy, we have one of those on its way. This is an economic strategy, it focuses on the city economy.”
On the investment strategy, she added: “We don’t own all the land and all the buildings in the city. If companies, which we might not choose to come here, come and buy, we can’t stop them.
“The kind of investment we will look for are businesses and organisations which live up to and comply with the standards that we are setting ourselves as a city.”
Green and Labour councillors also felt elected members hadn’t been given a fair opportunity to scrutinise the updated documents.
Mr Young said: “The lack of engagement with elected members is concerning.
“We feel it stretches the ability of elected members to robustly scrutinise what we have in front of us.”
Ms Aitken said: “Other groups have managed to absorb it and come up with some suggestions.”
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