Council focuses on Climate Change Strategy

Tackling the threat of climate change and protecting local communities and services will remain a key priority for the council in the year ahead.

Total carbon emissions for 2022/23 were 26,512 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e), a reduction of 1,705 tCO2e compared to 2021/221, the council’s lowest figures to date.

And at Thursday’s meeting of the Policy and Resources Committee (15 February), councillors were updated on all the latest actions being taken to address climate change challenges across Argyll and Bute.

These include:

  • The council joined the Public Sector Climate Adaptation last October. It now benefits from training and skills development covering topics such as risk assessment, public engagement and project planning.
  • The council has completed the first three stages of the Local Heat and Energy Efficiency Strategy (LHEES) with the remaining stages expected to be completed shortly.
  • Since 1st July 2023, the council has spent £870,000 of a £1,979,827 budget awarded by the Scottish Government Energy Efficient Scotland – Area Based Scheme (ABS), insulating privately owned and privately rented properties in mainland and island addresses.
  • Islay is one of six islands (including Barra, Great Cumbrae, Hoy, Raasay and Yell) which are participating in the Scottish Government’s Carbon Neutral Islands project. This aims to support them to become carbon neutral by 2040. Each island has completed carbon audits, developed community climate change action plans and climate change investment strategies which will identify learning and good practice which can be shared with other Scottish islands. 
  • The council has continued to back the Argyll and Bute Gift Card2, in support of both local businesses and the 20 Minute Neighbourhood concept. 

Argyll and the Isles Coast and Countryside Trust (ACT) has established two new projects complementing ongoing work on climate change. The first, Argyll and Bute Climate Action: Community Planning Partnership Climate Change Strategy, will undertake a climate risk assessment for the region and develop a climate change strategy and action plan. 

ABCAN (Argyll & Bute Climate Action Network) Hub, funded by the Scottish Government, will give a voice to community-led climate action, help to co-ordinate activities and support communities in progressing towards a net zero Argyll and Bute. 

Councillor Ross Moreland, Policy Lead for Climate Change and Environment Services, said: “The severe rainfall experienced across Argyll and Bute last October was just one indication of the seriousness of the risks and impacts associated with climate change. The region experienced landslips and flooding which affected the road network, our local communities and access to essential services.

“It’s vital that we continue to take action to tackle the impact of climate change and maximise our resilience to the projected changes in our weather to ensure we safeguard our people, buildings, transport and other services.”

Note to Editors:

  1. Figures taken from the council’s submission to the annual Public Bodies Climate Change Duties Report for 2022/23.
  2. The Scottish Government defines the concept of 20 Minute Neighbourhoods as: ‘where people can meet their needs within a 20 minute walk from their house – enabling people to live better, healthier lives and supporting our net zero ambitions.’
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