Reducing Greenhouse Gases
The UK Government’s Sustainable Development Strategy, Securing the Future, says that:
"The effects of a changing climate can already be seen. Temperatures and sea levels are rising, ice and snow cover are declining. The consequences could be catastrophic for the natural world and society. The scientific consensus is that most of the warming observed over the last fifty years is attributable to human activity, through emissions of greenhouse gases – such as carbon dioxide and methane – into the atmosphere. We need to make a profound change in our use of energy and other activities that release these gases. And we need to prepare for the changes in climate that are now already unavoidable"
Aberdeenshire Council’s Sustainability Charter Action Programme states:
We have a long-term goal to significantly reduce the production of greenhouse gases by 2050. Every three years we will monitor progress made in the Action Programme
Aberdeenshire Council's Audit committee conducted an audit on the Council's response to Climate Change, the findings of this are available in a document called the Bigger Issue - a report on climate change (PDF 3MB). The findings from this report state that "Aberdeenshire Council would seek to be a carbon neutral organisation in the short to medium term, i.e. 2020, and for the whole area of Aberdeenshire to be carbon neutral in the medium to long term, i.e. 2030". This shows a huge commitment by Aberdeenshire Council both in their own operation and that of the public and businesses operating within Aberdeenshire.
Aberdeenshire Council has addressed a number of issues regarding the reduction of greenhouse gasses via the Local Authority Carbon Management Plan (LACM). This project took place from March 2006 to March 2007 and allowed staff from all services to develop a plan for Aberdeenshire Council to reduce its emissions. The project looked at energy used in buildings, street lighting and council vehicles, and the quantity of waste which the council deals with from households. It also enabled employees to meet together and brainstorm ideas which could facilitate the reduction of emissions.
The work of the Audit Committee and the LACM were both ongoing at the same time and although they were both done independently of each other they came to very similar conclusions. The work of both these projects has been consolidated into one document called the Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP), which is available to view below.
- Climate Change Action Plan (PDF 337KB) we have revised this plan for 2010/11 which is available below
- Climate Change Action Plan 2010/11This is also the Sustainable Energy Action Plan under the EU Covenant of Mayors
- Climate Change Action Plan 2011-2015 This is the current working document for Aberdeenshire Council and its work to reduce green house gas emissions
The Scottish Climate Change Declaration (SCCD) was signed in January 2007. All 32 local authorities in Scotland have signed up to this declaration. This document carries a commitment to make annual reports.
The 2009, 2010 and 2011 Scottish Climate Change Declaration annual reports for Aberdeenshire Council are below.
Below is our Renewable Energy Strategy.
More information on climate change and what you can do to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions can be found on the Carbon Trust website.
In addition, at the same time as reducing greenhouse gasses we are also preparing for a future where the climate is different from today. The UK Climate Impacts Programme produces useful information on how to plan to adapt to climate change.
Aberdeenshire Council has undertaken a Local Climate Impact Profile as part of its climate change adaptation work.