Progress continues in North Ayrshire Council’s drive to cut carbon emissions as part of its commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2030.
Since 2005, area-wide emissions have reduced in North Ayrshire by 49 per cent while the Council’s own emissions have plummeted by 68 per cent.
The Council’s Cabinet welcomed the figures and underlined that tackling climate change remains one of its key priorities.
Councillor Tony Gurney, Cabinet Member for Economy and Climate Change, said: “Climate change affects us all therefore we all have a part to play in reducing carbon emissions.
“We have made excellent progress in recent years but we know that further action is required if we want to get to net zero by 2030.
“Climate change is a core priority for us and will be central to our thinking in every decision we take.”
Since the Council launched its first Carbon Management Plan in the mid-2000s, Council estate emissions have reduced by 67.8 per cent, from 67,719 tCO2e (tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent) to 21,794 tCO2e.
Some of the key highlights in the drive to cut emissions include:
- Completion of domestic solar PV installations on over 500 properties, reducing carbon emissions and saving households money on electricity bills
- Utilisation of the Council’s investment fund to support the development of two large scale solar PV farms, with the aim, once completed, of utilising sterile land assets, reducing area wide carbon emissions and supporting the increase of renewable energy on the market
- The launch of ‘Energy Smart’ a new programme of advice, measures and other support to help those most impacted by the current energy crisis
- Completion of district heating schemes at various development sites, most recently for 120 homes at Flatt Road, Largs, providing affordable warmth at scale
- Installation of over 50 publicly accessible charge points across North Ayrshire to help support the uptake of electric vehicles (EV) and participating in a pathfinder project with Scottish Futures Trust and Transport Scotland to identify preferred models of future delivery of EV infrastructure
- Implementation of the Upper Garnock Valley Flood Protection Scheme, to help adapt to the impacts of climate change and more extreme weather events.
- Launch of the Council’s Tree Planting Strategy, to increase afforestation across North Ayrshire providing a range of benefits including biodiversity, sustainable flood risk management and carbon sequestration
The Council’s fourth Environmental Sustainability and Climate Change Strategy is due for publication by the end of 2023 and will set out the further actions required to reach net zero by 2030.
The Council’s current Environmental Sustainability and Climate Change Strategy is available to view at https://www.north-ayrshire.gov.uk/Documents/ClimateChange/environmental-sustainability-climate-change-strategy.pdf