RENFREWSHIRE Council has joined other Scottish local authorities in declaring a climate emergency, writes Jack Thomson

Councillors joined forces as they agreed to take steps to tackle global warming on their doorstep. 

It sees the council follow Edinburgh, Glasgow, Highland, North Lanarkshire, Orkney and West Dunbartonshire in promising action. 

Elected members pledged to work proactively with others to make Renfrewshire carbon neutral by 2030 and help communities to become more resilient to flooding and drought.

A working group will also be set up as councillors put their heads together on what immediate action can be taken to tackle climate change.

The seriousness of the situation was recognised by members from all parties. 

Councillor Eileen McCartin said: “We have 11 years to make major changes to our carbon emissions in order to stop catastrophe happening.

“2030 is what we need to be looking towards.

“We mustn’t just talk about it, we must act.”

The sole Liberal-Democrat councillor recognised the local authority’s attempts to increase recycling, although claimed the standard of bin collections was a “disincentive”. 

She stressed the importance of more people going car free and cutting down on non-recyclable waste before adding: “We can’t achieve a great deal on our own but we if we work together.”

The SNP’s Councillor Jennifer Adam-McGregor echoed Councillor McCartin’s sentiments. 

She added: “We all have our parts to play from government to individuals.”

Councillor Adam-McGregor recognised the “ambitious targets” in relation to carbon reductions but said: “We can improve.”

She added: “By establishing a workng group we can ensure we treat this matter with the importance it deserves.”

Her party colleague Councillor Natalie Don added: “The council’s latest reports show we are performing well but we can always go further.”

The depute convener of the environment board said she “worried about the future” for herself and for relatives. 

She added: “Protecting our planet is the most important issue of all.”

Labour’s Councillor Derek Bibby said it was vital to engage residents in Renfrewshire as they look to impact change. 

He said: “As much as a cross party group is helpful, we have to have a wider consultation with the public.”

The Conservative group’s Councillor Neill Graham warned people against paying “lip service”.

He said: “We have to act now.l It can’t just be lip service for a few lines in the media.”

Councillor Cathy McEwan, the convener of environment, emphasised the stance that everyone had a part to play.

She called for “collective action” to be taken by governments, councils and other organisations. 

Councillor McEwan said she looked forward to “working together to solve the climate emergency”.

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