A CHANCE to back the development of a global environmental treaty has been missed by Scottish Borders Council, claims a Peebles-based group.

At a meeting last month, Green Party councillor Neil Mackinnon asked the local authority to endorse a fossil fuel non-proliferation agreement.

The treaty would lay out a plan to phase out the use of fossil fuels and 'fast track' sustainable solutions.

Mr Mackinnon's motion called on the council to support its development and write to Scottish Government for it to do the same.

An amendment was brought by Conservative councillor Jenny Linehan, the executive member for environment and transport. She said: “While the council is keenly aware that we are in a climate emergency, we are reluctant to commit to something involving a treaty that does not exist.

“It is our responsibility as councillors to consider all the implications of any actions and any impact they may have on our constituents.

“For that reason, I move an amendment that the chief executive directs our climate change officers to bring us a report on the content of my friend’s motion once the terms of the treaty have been negotiated and there is a draft in place to consider.”

Dr Christa Hook, a member of the Global Justice Scottish Borders group, said it was a "classic example of kicking the catastrophic climate can down the road".

“Global Justice Now had provided all councillors with in-depth information about the issues addressed by the treaty in advance of the meeting," she said.

“The amendment was accepted and there was no, absolutely no, discussion of the motion.

“By asking for a report after the terms of the treaty have been negotiated, an opportunity to contribute now to that process has been missed.”