Local Government and Communities Committee
1. The Committee recognises the important role that local government plays in the delivery of many areas in relation to climate change abatement and the need to consult with local authorities on the policy development aspects of the Plan. The Committee requested further information on how the Scottish Government will work with and resource local authorities in their delivery of the Plan. (30, 31)
- The Scottish Government funds the Sustainable Scotland Network (SSN), which enables collaboration between public sector professionals, including local authorities, working on climate change. SSN provides a network to share good practice and a platform to translate this into enhanced public sector action to tackle climate change. They also support public bodies to comply with their mandatory climate change reporting requirements which the majority of reporting bodies agree has helped their organisation to strengthen climate change action. In addition, the Scottish Government fund a number of support organisations such as Zero Waste Scotland and Resource Efficient Scotland to provide public bodies with advice to drive down their emissions. The Scottish Government liaises with COSLA on a regular basis. This liaison includes discussion on issues related to the Climate Change Plan.
2. The Committee sought further information on how the Scottish Government will work with local authorities to ensure that climate change leadership is developed and promoted within local government. (32)
- The Scottish Government continues to engage with local authorities on climate change leadership. On 5 October, the Sustainable Scotland Network conference, attended by 150 public sector delegates, including local authorities, focused on collaboration and support to deliver on climate change policy priorities. The Scottish Government liaises with COSLA on a regular basis. This liaison includes discussion on issues related to local government climate change leadership.
3. The Committee welcomed the Scottish Government's commitment to promoting energy efficiency best practice in relation to public procurement and requested further information on how it will work with and encourage local authorities to ensure that climate change considerations are built into their procedures and practices for procuring goods and services. (43)
- The Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014 requires contracting authorities to consider how their procurement activity can be used to improve economic, social and environmental wellbeing of their area and to act in a way to secure this. Contracting authorities must set out how they will ensure their procurement activities will comply with the duty in an organisational procurement strategy and report on how their activity has complied with this strategy. Initial strategies were published by December 2016 and initial annual reports are expected during the course of 2018.