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Sustainable development and climate change strategy

Sustainable Development and Climate Change Strategy - Our future is now


Welcome to the council’s sustainable development and climate change strategy 2022 to 2027.

This strategy has been prepared following extensive public engagement which has helped shape our strategic approach to sustainable development and climate change. The strategy will assist with the development of the corresponding action plan. Whilst this strategy focuses on the period 2022 to 2027, it also sets the pathway through to the end of this decade.

This strategy builds on the previous sustainable development and climate change strategy covering the period 2017 to 2022, but the extensive work that has taken place, in conjunction with partners and communities, since 2007, when the council’s first sustainable development strategy was published.

Why sustainable development and climate change?

Sustainable development is about maintaining a stable level of economic growth and employment, whilst reducing resource consumption, producing clean alternative energy, protecting the natural environment, and enabling a quality of life that is fair, inclusive, and does not disadvantage anyone. Sustainable development is not just about considering the present but also about how our actions and use of natural resources impact future generations.

Climate change presents the single biggest threat to sustainable development, and its widespread and unprecedented impacts are disproportionately impacting the poorest and most vulnerable, globally, and here in Scotland and in South Lanarkshire. As a society, and as a council, we need to consider the impacts that climate change may have on our development and growth and how we adapt to and reduce these impacts. If we reduce our contribution to global warming that is causing our climate to change, we are helping to minimise these impacts and in turn able to develop more sustainably.

See our Climate change page

Sustainable development typically includes three pillars – environmental, social, and economic. For the purposes of this strategy, the focus will mainly be on the environmental pillar, but the document will complement other council plans and strategies that focus on the social and economic pillars, including the council plan, community plan, economic development strategy, local housing strategy, local transport strategy and local development plan.

This strategy aims to align all three pillars of sustainable development for all who live and work in South Lanarkshire. It does this through the strategy’s vision and four main themes.

See our Theme and vision page

This strategy follows a number of previous successful sustainable development strategies.
Achievements from the previous strategy covering 2017 to 2022 are detailed on the following page.

See our Progress to date page

Since the last strategy was developed, there have been a number of external factors and changes, both globally and nationally, that have influenced our strategic approach to sustainable development and climate change, including the Covid-19 pandemic, the national declaration of a climate emergency, new greenhouse gas emission targets for Scotland, and COP26 to name a few. The urgency and pace and scale of action required within the term of this strategy is significant.

See our Influence and drivers page

Significant consultation and engagement were undertaken throughout 2021 and 2022 to ensure that views and ideas from local residents and community groups were taken into account when developing the strategy. 

See our Engagement and consultation page

Sustainable Development, including climate change duties compliance, is a priority objective for the council and is reflected in the Council Plan and is governed by the council's Climate Change and Sustainability Committee. 

See our Governance page