North Ayrshire’s Labour chief has declared a climate emergency – just a month after the issue was downgraded by the council.

NAC dropped climate change from its Strategic Risk Register with Brexit taking its place among their top concerns.

However, council leader Joe Cullinane now says his administration have asked council officers to bring forward a report to the Cabinet that will declare a climate emergency and start the process of refreshing NAC’s strategy.

He added that residents, including young people, will have the chance to directly influence the new strategy – and praised youngsters for joining protests against climate change.

Cllr Cullinane said: “We have reached the stage where the world faces a climate emergency. Unless there is radical action to rein in carbon emissions over the next 12 years the effects of climate change will be irreversible.

“NAC has made big strides in recent years to reduce our carbon emissions and to invest in renewable energy but the time is now to do more and for our communities to be at the heart of our response.

“There is real momentum across the world for immediate climate action with increasing attention being given to a Green New Deal in US and the Labour Party have committed to a Green Industrial Revolution, creating 50,000 new green jobs in the UK.

“The most inspiring development has been the activism of young people taking collective action through climate strikes.

“Young people are rightly passionate about the threat of climate change because if we do not take the action needed over the next 12 years then it will be they who face the consequences.

“That’s why our Labour administration want to give young people the platform to make their voices heard and to shape further action by NAC.

“We therefore won’t just be declaring a climate emergency and refreshing a council strategy, we will be ensuring there is the space for our young people, and our communities, to debate, discuss and input to that strategy.”