After an intervention from the local branch of Extinction Rebellion, Dundee City Council agreed to declare a state of Climate Emergency at a meeting on Monday 24 June.

Climate Change Progress and next steps

The Committee acceded to requests for deputations to address the Committee relative to this item of business. After the deputations had stated their cases and answered questions from members of the Committee, they were thanked for their attendance and withdrew.

There was submitted Report No 207-2019 by the Executive Director of City Development informing the Committee of the recent recommendations made by the UK Committee on Climate Change and subsequent decision by the Scottish Government to amend the Scottish Climate Change Bill that would set a target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions for Scotland by 2045. The report also highlighted the preparation of a consultative draft Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan (SECAP) for Dundee that would represent the city’s response to tackling climate change.

The Committee:-

(i) noted the Scottish Government’s proposed changes to the Climate Change Bill that would require local authorities to act in accordance with increased targets for reducing climate changing emissions;

(ii) remitted the Executive Director of City Development to finalise the consultative draft SECAP, carry out a period of public consultation and report back within six months with a finalised plan;

(iii) requested that the Chair of the Dundee Partnership write to city partners to seek their commitment to the delivery of the SECAP;

(iv) noted that the Council had agreed to develop a carbon budget and that the Executive Director of City Development and Executive Director of Corporate Services would bring back a report to Committee in 2020 recommending a way forward and highlighting the resources required;

(v) recognised the serious and accelerating environmental, social and economic challenges faced by climate change and declared a climate emergency;

(vi) agreed a science-based target of working towards net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045 or sooner for Dundee, in line with the proposed Scottish Government target, and agreed that this target be used as a basis for the long-term ambition of the SECAP;

(vii) remitted the Chief Executive to write to both the UK Government and Scottish Government to seek financial support for the Council’s response to the climate emergency;

(viii) remitted the Chief Executive of Dundee City Council to write to the Scottish Government to seek Dundee’s inclusion in “The Big Climate Change Conversation” events set to take place to encourage communities, businesses and the public sector to talk about what action we could all take;

(ix) noted the Council’s commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and requested the Executive Director of City Development to report back regularly on our progress;

(x) agreed, in principle, to support the establishment of a Climate Change Citizens’ Assembly in Dundee;

(xi) remitted officers to engage with the Dundee Partnership, relevant professionals and organisations, including those already supporting citizens’ assemblies elsewhere, to determine best practice and the most appropriate vehicle for delivery; and

(xii) remitted officers to include such a body in future public consultations on policies related to climate change.