Decision details


Decision status: For Determination

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


The following Notice of Motion Under Standing Order 13 was before the Council for consideration:-




Climate Emergency – Argyll and Bute

Argyll and Bute Council:

  1. Renews the commitment made by this council two years ago, in September 2019, to playing its part in the global effort to address climate challenges, and declares a climate emergency.  


  1. Acknowledges the United Nations’ warning of a ‘Code Red for Humanity’ situation in relation to tackling climate change, following the publication of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report Climate Change 2021 – The Physical Science Basis’;


  1. Welcomes the significant actions that the council has been taking in recent years, highlighted in Appendix 1, to ensure that Argyll and Bute improves even further its current positive position and low carbon emissions levels and continues to make a significant contribution, with our communities and partners, to fighting the critical impact of climate change;


  1. Reaffirms our determination to contribute to tackling the impacts of climate change at local, regional and national levels wherever possible, by agreeing together today that this vital work will continue as a priority for this council, expanding where possible and where necessary as identified through the Action Plan and ongoing monitoring that is already in place.


Moved by Councillor Robin Currie, seconded by Councillor Yvonne McNeilly.




The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change report shows that we still have time to limit warming below 1.5ºC if we act decisively and immediately. The International Energy Agency’s last report supported the halting of all new oil and gas exploration, something the Strathclyde Pension Fund (SPF) is currently funding. The Strathclyde Pension Fund, which represents 12 Local Authorities including Argyll and Bute Council, currently invests over £508 million in fossil fuel companies such as BP and Shell, which are still exploring for new oil fields. 

Fossil Fuel divestment is a practical, legal and responsible way for pension funds to respond to climate change and avoid financial risk. Although the SPF has agreed to assess the climate credentials of its investments, it is important that they set strict enough criteria and work to a timescale which reflects the urgency of the crisis. 

Council therefore agrees to request the trustees of the SPF (Strathclyde Pension Fund) divest from any investments in fossil fuels which have warmed the planet already to 1.1°C above pre industrial levels. 

Council agrees with the view held by the movement Time for Change that we have a “Climate Emergency” which needs urgent political action on a global scale to return us to a safe operating space within our planetary boundaries.  In declaring a Climate Emergency we will be joining over 230 local authorities in recognising the immediacy and severity of the crisis and holding ourselves accountable for implementing a scientific pathway to limit warming to less than 1.5ºC. 

Council agrees to write to the UK and Scottish Government’s in these terms urging them to take immediate action to tackle this grave issue and do all within their power to return us to  a pathway of less than 1.5ºC warming. 

Moved by Councillor Philand, seconded by Councillor Moffat.


As the meeting was being held on a virtual basis the vote required to be taken by calling the Roll and Members voted as follows –





Councillor Anderson

Councillor Freeman

Councillor Armour

Councillor Moffat

Councillor Blair

Councillor Philand

Councillor Colville


Councillor Currie


Councillor Devon


Councillor Douglas


Councillor Findlay


Councillor Forrest


Councillor Good


Councillor Green


Councillor Hardie


Councillor Horn


Councillor Kinniburgh


Councillor Lynch


Councillor MacMillan BEM


Councillor McCabe


Councillor McKenzie


Councillor McNeilly


Councillor Morton


Councillor Mulvaney


Councillor Paterson


Councillor Penfold


Councillor Redman


Councillor Reid


Councillor Robertson


Councillor Taylor


Councillor Trail


Councillor Vennard





The Motion was carried by 29 votes to 3 and became the finding of the Council.

Publication date: 04/10/2021

Date of decision: 30/09/2021

Decided at meeting: 30/09/2021 - Argyll and Bute Council

Accompanying Documents: