East Ayrshire Council (EAC) has been ranked in the top ten in Scotland for its action to combat climate change.

Climate Action UK carried out a study of every local authority in the UK to find out how they were dealing with climate change.

The local authority's work saw it receive a score of 41 per cent for its work to fight global warming.

It judged councils on issues they had control or influence over, which have a big impact on carbon emissions and biodiversity loss. 

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That included planning and land use, waste reduction and food and building and heating.

EAC's 41 per cent was above the Scottish council average of 34 per cent.

Edinburgh topped the Scottish rankings with a score of 58 per cent.

North Ayrshire Council scored 36 per cent, seeing it ranked 12th, while South Ayrshire Council scored just 29 per cent, leaving it ranked 21st.

The score by category for East Ayrshire was: building and heating 57 per cent; transport 25 per cent; planning and land use 64 per cent; governance and finance 31 per cent; collaboration and engagement 53 per cent; biodiversity nine per cent and waste reduction and food 44 per cent.

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In response to the findings, Andrew Kennedy, head of facilities and property management at EAC, said: "East Ayrshire Council welcomes the publication of Climate Emergency UK’s Climate Change Scorecards and sees these as an effective way of spreading best practice as we all seek to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate the impact of climate change.

"The council will reflect on these findings and use them to inform our future approach and actions.

"The council approved its first Climate Change Strategy and associated Action Plan on June 24, 2021.

"In agreeing the Strategy and in recognition of the Global Climate Change emergency, we have set the ambitious aim of reducing our own carbon emissions to Net Zero by 2030; and to work with our residents and businesses to bring our wider communities’ emissions in line with Net Zero as soon as possible (and by 2045 at the latest)."

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He added: "To support these ambitions, Cabinet on 23 February 2022 as part of our 2022/23 Budget, established a £1M Climate Change Investment Fund. The report set out a range of actions which will be implemented to accelerate our progress towards Net Zero.

"This includes the allocation of £5M capital funding to support infrastructure investment in climate change related projects.

"We are already seeing the benefits of this approach and progress will be updated through Cabinet in November this year in our annual climate change report which will outline progress against many of the areas covered by Climate Emergency UK’s Scorecard.  

"We have also established new arrangements and invested funding to support our businesses, communities and schools to decarbonise and encourage the wider behaviour change that will be required to reach Net Zero."