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Chamber and committees

Net Zero, Energy and Transport Committee


Inquiry into the role of local government and its cross-sectoral partners in financing and delivering a net-zero Scotland

Background

The Committee has launched an inquiry into the role of local government and its cross-sectoral partners in financing and delivering a net-zero Scotland.

The inquiry aims to seek out the main barriers at a local level, to Scotland reaching its net zero targets. It will consider what practical steps councils are taking to break them down, in partnership with business, the voluntary sector, and local communities. It will also highlight areas where change will be needed if councils are to play a full role in the helping us achieve the goal of a net zero Scotland.

The inquiry will also consider:

  • what role the Scottish Government and its agencies can play in both supporting and, where necessary, challenging local government to work well with its partners to deliver net zero
  • how local government can play its part in ensuring a “just transition” to net zero

A "just transition" means changing our economy and lives to achieve net zero should be done in a way that reduces rather than increases inequalities and creates new opportunities for people.

What is "net zero"?

“Net zero” means putting no more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than we take away. Greenhouse gases are a cause of climate change. The Scottish Government and Parliament have committed to making Scotland net zero by 2045, with challenging interim targets on the way.

Your views

To help the Committee with its inquiry, we would welcome your views on a range of issues, including:

Council planning, decision-making and capacity in relation to net zero

  1. How effective are councils at strategic planning, budgeting, and making procurement decisions that align with net zero goals? If there are barriers, what are they?
  2. What role can the local government planning system and local development plans do to help us reach net zero? Could the planning system do more?
  3. What innovation, skills and capacity are needed in the local government workforce when it comes to making net zero achievable? Does that capacity exist or are there gaps?

Partnering to achieve net zero goals

  1. How well do councils leverage in support and finance from the private sector for net zero delivery? Are City Region Deals being used effectively for this? What mechanisms or forums are there for sharing opportunities and good practice?
  2. How well do councils partner with the voluntary sector and social enterprises to work towards net zero goals? Are there instances of good practice you can point to or areas where opportunities are being missed?
  3. How well do councils involve local communities in decision-making on major net zero projects and how do they support community-led initiatives?

Role of the Scottish Government and its agencies

  1. What is the Scottish Government doing to help the local government sector deliver on net zero goals? What, if anything, could it do more of to help the sector?
  2. What is the role of enterprise agencies or other public bodies as enablers of joint working on net zero goals by local government and its cross-sectoral partners?

Local government work on net zero in particular areas

  1. How are councils working with cross-sectoral partners to decarbonise heat in buildings and to ensure they have greater energy efficiency?
  2. How are councils working with cross-sectoral partners to decarbonise transport (including encouraging active travel) and to improve air quality?
  3. How are councils working with cross-sectoral partners to promote recycling and a "circular economy"?
  4. How are councils working with cross-sectoral partners to use the natural environment (its "green infrastructure") to achieve net zero targets?

We welcome written views in English, Gaelic, Scots or any other language.

We would like to hear from you by 21 January 2022.

Please submit your views using the online submission form



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