A reduction in fossil fuels and increased use of renewable energy sources – these are just some of the ambitions for Islay’s carbon neutral future.
Islay is one of six Scottish islands, announced by the Scottish Government to become fully carbon neutral by 2040. The initiative is part of the Carbon Neutral Islands project, aimed at supporting islands to achieve their carbon neutral ambitions.
Argyll and Bute Council recommended Islay as an ideal candidate for inclusion due to the mix of potential energy sources on the island including offshore wind proposals and potential tidal schemes. Islay is home to a range of economic sectors including agriculture, tourism, food and drink and public bodies. In addition, there are opportunities to capture carbon through peatland restoration on the island.
Islay’s involvement will create opportunities for the local community to work with industry, to identify ways of reducing fossil fuel. A particular focus will look at deploying renewable sources to help deliver more sustainable energy.
Councillor Robin Currie, Policy Lead for Economy and Rural Growth:
“The council is fully committed to playing a significant role in supporting Scotland’s ambitions on tackling the threat of climate change.
“The news that Islay has been confirmed as part of the Carbon Neutral Islands project is extremely welcome and is the latest evidence of our determination to achieve our goal of becoming the UK’s first net zero region by 2045.
“We look forward to working with communities and local industry to explore innovative solutions to reduce fossil fuel use and make more use of renewable energy. We are confident Islay can achieve carbon neutral status and further enhance Argyll and Bute’s position as a climate friendly area to live, work and visit.”
The use of renewable energy resources on Islay to help deliver more sustainable local energy systems is one of the climate friendly initiatives outlined in the council’s £70 million Rural Growth Deal.
More information about a climate-friendly Argyll and Bute is available on the council website https://www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/climate-change
The project will help to deliver key commitments in the Scottish Government’s National Islands Plan and is aimed at creating jobs, protecting Scottish island environments from climate change, and contributing to the Scottish Government’s 2045 net zero commitment.
The other Scottish islands included in the Carbon Neutral Islands project, which were identified following consultation with councils and island representatives, are Hoy, Great Cumbrae, Raasay, Barra and Yell. A full report will be published over the summer and plans developed for individual islands in collaboration with partners and the communities involved.