Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR)
European section of United Cities and Local Governments

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Sustainable territorial and local development

Conference sustainable cities - 21.05.2010

Dunkerque: CEMR highlights Scottish targets for the fight against climate change
The ambitious Scottish Climate Change Act was highlighted by Councillor Alison Hay, Chair of the CEMR Environment Working Group and Environment spokesperson for the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA), during a session on 'Utilities: Energy and Water" held on 20 May during the 6th European Conference on Sustainable Cities and Towns in Dunkirk.

The Scottish Act aims at reducing CO2 emissions by 42% by 2020 and by 80% by 2050, and constitutes the most ambitious emissions reduction plan in the world. Hay underlined the importance of local and national levels of government working together to achieve these targets and emphasised that 'local government cannot be seen as a barrier but a leader in building a sustainable economy."

'The crucial part of the success [of this Act] will be to bring in the private sector. In Scotland we are aiming at working with the utility sector to make Scotland a leading player in efficient and renewable energy. This makes environmental and economic sense: it is estimated that the Scottish low carbon and environmental sector will be worth more than €15bn by 2015."

The 'Utilities: Energy and Water" session saw panellists tackle how public and private utilities can play a leading role in assisting communities, societies, and economies to advance sustainable development. They also discussed how cooperation with local governments facilitates the implementation of sustainable utilities programs to preserve water resources and build a sound energy infrastructure.

Hay also presented the Council of European Municipalities and Regions' actions and activities in terms of lobbying for EU sustainable development legislation, and of supporting initiatives such as the Covenant of Mayors, the Aalborg Charter and the Leipzig Charter.
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