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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 February 2008, 00:45 GMT
Climate change focus for councils
Rain clouds
The aim of the study is to make councils better prepared
The impact climate change is having in four Scottish local authority areas is to be studied to improve their readiness for extreme weather.

Perth and Kinross, Highland, South Lanarkshire and Edinburgh councils will be involved in the research project.

Local media reports and individual experiences will be examined.

A picture will then be built up of the affect global warming has had on communities, with the aim of improving responses to weather problems.

'Highlight opportunities'

Alan Grant, from Perth and Kinross Council, said: "The detailed and complex scientific research being carried out on climate change has a huge role to play in predicting the challenges everyone will face in future.

"However, at a more local level there will be lots of anecdotal evidence about how extreme weather affects our area.

"What we want to see is if correlating this information in one place can help us to make better decisions about preparing for what the elements have in store for us.

"Taking a step back and having a fresh look may also offer insights into existing challenges or even highlight opportunities that we hadn't previously spotted."

'Personal responsibility'

Climate Change Minister Stewart Stevenson added: "Our local communities have a vital role to play in responding to the impacts of climate change.

"This study is an excellent opportunity for councils to look in detail at the community level threats and opportunities created by our changing climate.

"The project will also benefit other local authorities by providing them with useful information in support of their Climate Change Declarations - which commit them to taking action to reduce emissions and adapt to the unavoidable impacts of climate change.

"Climate change is not an issue any government can address alone. If we are going to achieve our national target of an 80% reduction in emissions by 2050 we all need to accept personal responsibility and take local action."

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