It’s an emer­gency: City chiefs blasted over cli­mate strat­egy

Evening Times - - NEWS - BY DREW SANDELANDS

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.”

Cli­mate change marchers walk through Glas­gow, but the is­sue isn’t high enough on the agenda, fear some coun­cil­lors

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