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Emergency declared

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A CLIMATE emergency has been declared in Dumfries and Galloway — and steps agreed to help tackle the situation.

At a meeting in Dumfries yesterday, councillors backed a motion on the current climate situation and agreed to adopt a ‘radical’ 12 point plan locally which will aim to cut the region’s carbon emissions.

Cllr Dougie Campbell, of Dee and Glenkens, is leading the movement and was named the local authority’s new environment champion. He said: “Our planet will soon reach a catastrophic tipping point if we fail to control the rise in global temperatures. And in the years to come we will experience more frequent severe weather events, inland flooding and a gradual increase in sea levels, which will impact significantly on our coastal communities.

“Nothing should be off the table. We must rethink how we interact with our environment, and sectors such as health and social care, housing, transport, industry, forestry and farming will all need to play their part. We have to embrace measures such as moving away from reliance on fossil fuels to travel and to heat our homes and businesses, cutting down heat loss using insulation, using renewable energy such as solar panels and ground source heat, converting to electric vehicles, recycling and cutting down on food waste, developing flood risk management and community resilience plans – the list goes on.” Mr Campbell says the declaration of a climate emergency is “just the beginning”, adding: “This will be a shared responsibility and we all need to respond. “Dumfries and Galloway Council will start work immediately, to work collaboratively with communities, businesses and a host of other agencies to ensure we do everything we can to protect the quality of life for people in our region now and in the years ahead.

“The council recognises we can’t do this alone, but commitments we make now will go a long way to protecting Dumfries and Galloway for future generations.”

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