AS world leaders meet in Glasgow to take decisions that will shape the future of our planet and ensure we meet the goals set out in the Paris Agreement, there will a keen observer in Renfrewshire ready to drive forward the decisions made.

Recently appointed as Renfrewshire Council’s climate emergency lead officer, Roz Smith has spent more than decade developing sustainable solutions to tackle climate change.

As strategic energy coordinator in the Sustainable Development team at Stirling Council, she helped develop the area’s first district heating network which uses low carbon and renewable heat, as well as the creation of a Low Carbon Hub which provides renewable solar energy for 60 electric vehicle chargers, on-site lighting, and a small council office.

It’s in Renfrewshire though where her future lies as she gets ready to drive forward the region’s ambitious climate agenda, which aims to make the area net-zero by 2030.

Roz said: “As soon as I saw the Climate Emergency Lead Officer post, I knew I would love the opportunity to take forward Renfrewshire’s ambitious and progressive vision of becoming net-zero by 2030.

“In the short-term, we are researching our baseline to see exactly where our emissions are currently and then our Plan for Net-Zero will set out the actions required to reach our goals.

“While the plan is council-led, we need everyone to participate to achieve our ambitions as there is not a ‘one size fits all’ solution. We need to look area by area, community by community to tailor actions for local people, businesses and organisations to ensure that no-one is disadvantaged, and we all move forward together.”

The Gazette: Roz SmithRoz Smith

With COP26 taking place just over the border in neighbouring Glasgow, the profile of climate change has never been higher in Renfrewshire and Roz is determined to take advantage.

She added: “With a global conference being held right on our doorstep, it gives us the opportunity to showcase the incredible work that is going on across the area and engage our residents with the changes we are making to reduce carbon emissions.

“The council is leading by example with a number of high-profile projects, including the district heating network at AMIDS, the switch to electric for the council fleet, the planting of thousands of trees as part of the Clyde Climate Forest and the diversion of waste from landfill as part of the Clyde Valley Waste Partnership, and this highlights to other local organisations what can be achieved.

“As a council though, we only contribute about 3% of the area’s total carbon emissions which shows the importance of partnership working, sharing knowledge and facilitating others so that collectively we can achieve our goal of making Renfrewshire a cleaner, happier and healthier place to live.

“I believe COP26 will be a great driver to bring everyone together to work collectively and make positive transformational changes once the summit concludes.”

For more information on Renfrewshire’s climate change ambitions, visit