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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 January 2007, 12:08 GMT
Councils commit to climate change
Chimney smoke - generic
Friends of the Earth say emissions must fall by 3% each year
Every council in Scotland is to commit to tackling climate change.

Environment Minister Ross Finnie said he was delighted all 32 local authorities would sign Scotland's Climate Change Declaration.

The agreement is part of the Scottish Climate Change Programme which sets out a framework to deliver carbon savings.

It was announced ahead of a conference in Glasgow, to be attended by former US Vice President Al Gore and Hans Blix, former UN chief weapons inspector.

The event has been described as a business networking lunch followed by a discussion session where tables cost up to 3,000 for 10 people.

'Climate chaos'

Scotland's Climate Change Declaration recognises local government - the largest public sector employer - has a key role to play in tackling climate change.

Mr Finnie said: "The universal commitment from local government to work with us in addressing climate change is further evidence of the lead Scotland is taking in responding to the climate change challenge."

Al Gore

Tom McCabe, minister for finance and public service reform, added: "By signing this declaration local authorities will lead by example and ensure both a greener and more efficient delivery of vital public services for taxpayers."

Councillor Alison Hay, Cosla's environment spokeswoman, said: "I hope that in taking the lead local government will give confidence to others in Scotland that they too can make a similar commitment."

Friends of the Earth Scotland called for a fund to help councils with the costs of cutting emissions.

Chief executive Duncan McLaren welcomed the move but warned: "To stop climate chaos we need to see year-on-year cuts in climate emissions of at least 3%."

The Green Party also welcomed the news but said some councils supported "climate-wrecking projects".

It said these included the M74 extension, which is backed by Glasgow City Council.

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