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Argyll and Bute Council has reaffirmed its commitment to tackling climate change by adopting a decarbonisation plan explaining how its services will focus on being environmentally responsible in day-to-day work.
While no single organisation can tackle climate change in isolation, the council says its decarbonisation plan, which includes its achievements to date and its intentions for the future, sets out its intention to lead the way in Argyll and Bute.
The council is currently working in line with Scottish Government targets to reduce greenhouse gases by 75 per cent by 2030 and net-zero emissions by 2045.
Over the past four years, the council and key partners have reduced carbon dioxide equivalent output by more than 4,000 tonnes per annum.
Contributing to this achievement has been:
- Adopting renewable energy for council buildings, including biomass boilers and solar panels;
- Constructing the Miss Hoolie wind turbine to power the Glengorm waste disposal site on Mull;
- Switching to LED street lights, saving energy and carbon emissions;
- Reducing the amount of waste going to landfill by 13 per cent since 2009;
- Replacing 10 per cent of the council fleet with electric or hybrid vehicles so that 46 diesel vehicles will be removed; and
- Ensuring that, since 2016, 1,123 households have benefitted from measures that make homes warmer, reduce energy bills and decrease carbon emissions.
The decarbonisation plan outlines six areas for action that will help move Argyll and Bute towards its goal of zero carbon emissions: waste; energy and water consumption; transport; preparing and adapting for the effects of climate change; offsetting emissions through partnership and innovation; and communicating work and encouraging participation.
Councillor Robin Currie, leader of the council, said: ‘We are very fortunate – Argyll and Bute is the lowest net carbon dioxide producing region in UK per head of population. That’s thanks to our environment – our forests and peat lands and our demographics.
‘However, our coastline makes us susceptible to extreme weather events, and disruption to the Rest and Be Thankful is also testament to the effect of more frequent adverse weather on our critical infrastructure.
‘So we cannot be complacent. We have to act now and we have to act together. Our decarbonisation plan is a clear statement of what we, as a council, can do to make changes that will reduce our carbon footprint. This is just the first step.
‘As we build back better, after Covid-19, we will work with businesses, communities and other agencies to develop a low-carbon economy, making the most sustainable use of our assets and existing core industries such as renewable energy, food and drink, aquaculture, agriculture, forestry and tourism.
‘Our schools are already hard at work helping our children and young people explore the importance of the world around them – and this has led to numerous awards.
‘I hope that our young people will help to lead the way, in our efforts, with creativity and enthusiasm, as their future depends on our actions now. ‘