Climate / Council to be evaluated on its climate change actions

SHETLAND Islands Council (SIC) is one of over 400 UK local authorities that will have their climate change actions assessed as part of a national survey.

As part of Climate Emergency UK’s scheme individual councils will be audited in spring next year with the aim to publish local authority’s ‘scorecards’ in autumn of the same year.

Climate Emergency UK said up to 30 per cent of emissions are within the scope and influence of local authorities.

Co-director Annie Pickering said: “We want to see councils are really doing everything they can within their powers to tackle the climate emergency.

“Some councils are already doing a really good job and these scorecards will highlight that.

“There are some councils who claim to be doing a good job, but perhaps that won’t be reflected in the scorecards.”

Pickering added that the results will help to hold councils to account and to encourage them to do more.


Claire Ferguson, the SIC’s team leader for climate change strategy, said she had, among other documents, been using Climate Emergency UK’s own checklists in building the council’s strategy.

Challenge of reaching net zero target spelled out to councillors

But she also said the SIC had raised concern as to the methodology of creating scorecards and the fact that there is no island/rural representation on the organisation’s advisory group.

“There are a few areas within the scoring methodology which favours cities and is not so appropriate for areas like Shetland,” she said.

This included implementing clean air zones and workplace parking levies, enforced school streets and deductions for any approved, expanded or built roads since 2019.

“The scoring will be undertaken by Climate Emergency UK through volunteer research and FOIs rather than asking local authorities directly, which will not allow the opportunity to provide the Shetland context to responses,” Ferguson said.

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She added that the SIC will be attending the organisation’s information session for local authorities on Tuesday to raise their concerns again around the draft methodology and scoring process.

Acknowledgment: This article uses parts of a news story distributed through the Local Democracy Reporting Service written by John Guinn, local democracy reporter with JPI Media covering Bedford Borough.

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