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Clackmannanshire Council Online

Climate Change

Climate Change

Is the climate really changing?

The impacts of climate change are becoming increasingly clear with Scotland’s ten hottest years having all occurred since 1997 despite record keeping beginning in Victorian times.

The urgency to act has been given even greater impetus by the fact that Scotland’s highest ever temperature of 35.1°C registered in July 2022.

Temperatures in Clackmannanshire in the same period included 32°C in Menstrie and 31°C in Alloa.

This fits into a wider global trend with nineteen of the twenty hottest years on record registering since the year 2000 despite records of global average temperatures beginning in 1880.

What is causing climate change?

Climate change is caused by heat-trapping gases, known as greenhouse gases, being released into the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels (such as coal, oil and gas) for energy generation, industry and transport.

These greenhouse gas emissions from human activity have led to significant heating in Earth’s climate with 2023 registering as the hottest year since modern record keeping began in 1880.

Why does climate change matter?

The climate is becoming increasingly hostile to life as a result of our emissions.

Climate change is already affecting many weather and climate extremes in every region across the globe and we are witnessing more frequent heatwaves, heavier precipitation, more severe droughts and stronger tropical cyclones.

There has been an average 68% drop in mammal, bird, fish, reptile and amphibian populations since 1970.

Weather extremes in Scotland have also changed with our hottest days getting hotter and our wettest days getting wetter.

These increasingly extreme observed impacts are why immediate, rapid and large-scale reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are needed, alongside urgent actions to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

What is being done about climate change?

Almost 200 countries agreed to set targets to reduce their emissions in the Paris Agreement of 2015.

They also agreed to regularly meet to make the targets more ambitious including at the COP26 event in Glasgow in 2021 and the most recent COP28 in Dubai.

Collectively members of the Paris Agreement are aiming to keep a rise in global average temperature below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to attempt to limit the overall increase to 1.5°C. However, it is alarming that in 2023, the global average temperature increased 1.45°C above the baseline.

The UK Government has set a legally binding target to become carbon neutral (reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions) by 2050 while the Scottish Government has set a legally binding targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 75% by 2030 and reach net zero by 2045.

What is Clackmannanshire Council doing?

Clackmannanshire Council unanimously declared a climate emergency and recognised climate change as one of the most serious challenges facing communities here in Clackmannanshire and across the world.

The Council also brought forward its net zero targets to 2040 at the latest and set an area-wide target of net zero by 2045.

Climate Change Strategy

Over the past 18 months the council has been developing a new Climate Change Strategy which incorporates a framework for achieving Clackmannanshire's net zero targets. The final draft strategy includes ways of aligning major decisions, budgets and approaches to planning decisions with a shift to net zero greenhouse gas emissions.

Consultation has taken place with key stakeholders including local businesses, potential investors and the general public. The feedback has been incorporated into the final draft and we are now in the process of having a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) carried out.

Climate Emergency Action Plan

Within the Climage Change Strategy, specific emission reduction opportunities have been allocated into six areas to aid the development of a thematically based Climate Emergency Action Plan: 

  • Energy, Heat and Buildings
  • Low-carbon Transport
  • Waste, Recycling and the Circular Economy
  • Biodiversity, Carbon Storage and Agriculture
  • Adaptation, Planning and Organisational Capacity
  • Economic Development and Sustainable Procurement

The Council also recognises the need for the public to have a much more significant role in shaping collective future actions – particularly since the most severe impacts of climate change are likely to be felt by people who are at greater risks of poverty.

This is why the Council established Climate Change Forums in each of the five ward areas of Clackmannanshire.

The Forums allowed young people, businesses and residents to meaningfully contribute to environmental targets in Clackmannanshire.

To register your interest or find out more contact

Local Heat and Energy Efficiency Strategy (LHEEs) and Regional Energy Masterplan (REM)

On the 30 November 2023, Clackmannanshire Council considered and approved their REM and LHEES which is incorporated into the REM. The REM and LHEES will assist Clackmannanshire Council to take Clackmannanshire towards achieving net zero energy systems by 2045 and to satisfy the requirements of the Scottish Government’s LHEES Statutory Order 2022. The REM was developed in partnership with Stirling Council as part of the City Region Deal.

Isn’t net zero too expensive?

It is well documented that benefits of strong, early action on climate change far outweigh the costs of not acting.

Or as the old adage goes, an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.

Given the on-going cost of living crisis, with major increases in the cost of energy and petrol affecting residents and businesses in Clackmannanshire, net zero policies are becoming even more important.

Some specific benefits of net zero action for Clackmannanshire include:

  • strengthening energy networks to improve energy security and reduce costs for residents and businesses;
  • delivering low-carbon retrofits to reduce costs to help tackle the rising cost of living;
  • reducing waste and achieving cost savings;
  • improving air quality, delivering negative emissions and providing resilience to climate-related disturbances through tree planting, pollinator and biodiversity-focussed initiatives;
  • improving infrastructure for walking, cycling, remote working and public transport.

In short, there are compelling economic, financial and health benefits to addressing climate change.

These benefits have led to hundreds of Councils around the UK setting net zero targets.

In the process of moving to net zero, Clackmannanshire will also aim to create thousands of new jobs and investment opportunities in renewable energy, recycling and the green economy.

What specific work has the Council done to reduce emissions?

Energy Efficiency and Buildings

Over the past 14 years the Council’s Energy and Sustainability team have secured over £20.5m in Government funding to improve the energy efficiency in homes resulting in an estimated emissions reduction of over 13,800 tonnes of CO₂e in annual savings or over 346,000 tonnes of CO₂e in estimated lifetime savings.

The Council’s Home Energy Advice Team provides support to low-income houses in fuel poverty by providing energy efficiency improvements, consolidating energy debt and accessing funding to help to alleviate the rising cost of living.

The team also holds surgeries and regular community-based events to engage residents.

The Housing Team has also undertaken significant work on housing quality standards, energy efficiency in social housing and the fuel poverty agenda.

This includes on-going work to make council-managed buildings more energy efficient and less dependent on fossil fuels and substantial retrofitting and renewable energy investments being made in housing stock, our schools, libraries and public buildings.

Sustainable Transport

Roads & Transportation is working to produce a spatial framework for the delivery of our off-road walking and cycling network linking all of our communities and the wider Forth Valley area.

Significant investments are being made in active travel network through the City Region Deal and in partnership with Sustrans.

Our legacy aims to pass on a better Clackmannanshire to the next generation - a place where people can thrive, live healthy and fulfilling lives, and enjoy their environment.

Other sustainable transport initiatives that the Council is working on include:

  • supporting bus services;
  • school travel planning including cycle training in primary schools;
  • electrification of the Council’s fleet;
  • promotion and delivery of the Council’s pool car programme that helps employees leave their car at home / avoid car ownership;
  • upgrading our traffic counters to generate stronger data;
  • promoting the roll out of the National Entitlement Card and Young Scot for U22 free bus travel;
  • establishing Alloa Active Travel Hub through the Scottish Government’s Town Centre funding to convert  the former public toilets;
  • installing real time planning information screens at Shillinghill.

Additional Areas

Clackmannanshire and Stirling’s City Regional Deal included the establishment of the Scottish International Environment Centre (SIEC).

The SIEC will deliver transformational change in business practice, in order that the protection and enhancement of our natural resources becomes an enabler of economic prosperity, inclusive growth, and wellbeing.

Clackmannanshire has an above average recycling rate of 51.2% compared to 43.3% Scottish average and further work is being completed to build up on this and reduce emissions from waste.

The Council is also upgrading streetlights to save energy and developing feasibility studies and costed business plans for green energy generation initiatives as part of a Regional Energy Masterplan.

As part of the Be the Future programme the Council are transforming Clackmannanshire through innovation and partnership  in order that the protection and enhancement of natural resources becomes an enabler of economic prosperity, just transition and wellbeing.

How can I help?

Please contact us with any suggestions and ideas that you have which could contribute to our net zero targets or to register your interest in getting involved in our Climate Change Forums by emailing

Climate Change reports

All climate reports published since it became a requirement under the Climate Change Act are available via the Sustainable Scotland Network website.

Related Publications & Documents

For Further Information Contact

Kilncraigs, Greenside Street, Alloa, FK10 1EB
Tel: 01259 450 000 Fax: 01259 727 453