Council agrees to align thinking on climate change and poverty to ensure a just transition

The Leader of The Highland Council, Cllr Margaret Davidson, and Strategic Chair, Cllr Trish Robertson have called on the local authority to align its thinking around climate change and poverty.

Cllr Davidson stressed the importance of considering how the Scottish Government’s Just Transition Commission might influence current policy.

The Leader proposed a motion at today’s meeting of Highland Council, which was backed by the chair of the Highland Council’s Climate Change Working Group, Cllr Trish Robertson.

The Climate Change Bill was introduced to the Scottish Parliament as a direct response to the Paris Agreement which requires parties to increase action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while taking into account “the imperatives of a just transition of the workforce and the creation of decent work and quality jobs.”

The Scottish Government formed a Just Transition Commission and they reported back last year with their findings in the Advice for a Green Recovery report.

Some of the findings of note were as follows:-

  • We have an opportunity to reset our progress towards a net-zero economy in a way that also actively tackles inequality and promotes regional cohesion
  • Young people are especially at risk
  • Patterns of transport use have changed but there is great uncertainty about the permanence of these changes
  • There is an accelerated transition unfolding in the Oil and Gas sectors
  • Some rural sectors and regions are especially hard hit.

Cllr Davidson and Cllr Robertson’s motion, which was agreed by members of full council today proposed that officers involved with climate change and poverty strategies bring forward a paper on how the council can bring together our thinking on these issues.

Cllr Davidson said: “It is imperative that we address poverty and inequality in our thinking. We have presented two motions today to set Highland on an ambitious track to gain more from our natural resources and to align our policies on climate change and poverty.”

Cllr Trish Robertson added: “We must review our current policies and ensure that everything we do contributes towards a fairer and greener future for everyone across our Highland communities.”

13 May 2021