Scotland’s local authorities “cannot afford” to forget the climate emergency as they deal with the financial challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, it has been warned. Council budgets are expected to be tighter than ever in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, placing pressure on public services across the board. But MSPs scrutinising next year’s budget planning have been told the challenges posed by emissions “haven’t gone away”. Holyrood’s Local Government and Communities Committee sought views on the financial sustainability of local government in Scotland following the coronavirus crisis. In its response, Edinburgh-based conservation specialists Kaitiaki Consulting said if councils invest in native tree-planting then this can have a major positive economic benefit. In written evidence, it said: “While Covid-19 has placed a strain on most areas, the duty to reduce emissions and improve the climate has not gone away. “Investing in widespread, environmentally-sensitive, native tree-planting, even modestly, can have hugely positive consequences for towns, cities, villages and open spaces. In its submission to MSPs, it said it is in the process of speaking to all 32 of Scotland’s local authorities to set out the benefits of creating forests in their towns, cities and rural areas, as well as highlighting the value of getting involved to businesses, charities, land owners and philanthropists.
Herald 21st Oct 2020 read more »