By Roland Chaplain
Great news !
Dumfries & Galloway Council enthusiastically approved the Climate Emergency motion.
Indeed the Council went further and accepted an amendment to bring forward the net zero carbon status target date in item 2 of the 12 point plan from 2030 to 2025.
There was just a single loan voice opposing.Clr Dougie Campbell (architect of the Motion) was appointed the Council’s Climate Emergency Champion unopposed.
The level of cross-Party support was exemplary to many other political debating chambers.
This was picked up in an excellent local News interview with Evi Landay of Extinction Rebellion on BBC Radio Solway.
Most Councillors who spoke were clapped by the audience of climate emergency protesters and environmental activists. Particularly inspiring speeches by Clrs Katie Hagmann and Dougie Campbell left no-one in any doubt that prevaricating in any way would not be tolerated by the movers of the Motion.
However, there was also realism as to the scale and complexity of the challenge.
That said, there was clearly a will to start taking action wherever possible ahead of the cross-Party Panel’s detailed report back to the Council on September 11th.
It was encouraging too to hear expressions of a mindset trending towards a recognition of the many ways in which wasted tax payers money would be lessened by taking the kinds of simple actions being recommended. It was particularly exciting to feel a sense that elected representatives and permanent officials were coming with an equally strong commitment to change to a culture where the climate emergency is used as the yardstick by which to measure ALL of the Councils decisions, actions and practices.
Update 9/7/2019: The Economy, Environment and Infrastructure Committee will consider resource implications for implementing the plan on September 10th.
Roland is an applied weather forecaster and climatologist by profession. He set up the “weather watchers network” with Radio Scotland in 1984 – a predecessor to what is now the Mountain Weather Information Service (mwis.org.uk)