“We can’t do this without Government support, from the Scottish Government and the UK, who have both declared this. Their resource of finance, and their support in achieving this is vital for us, so in our declaration we are saying that we are right at the forefront

Orkney Islands Council has joined organisations around the world in declaring a climate emergency.

The declaration was agreed this week’s Special General Meeting, as a means of both reaffirming the Council’s existing commitment to a vibrant carbon neutral economy, and publicly expressing concern about climate change.Around 70 councils across the UK have already made a climate emergency declaration.

Leader James Stockan said: “This declaration serves to leave no doubt of the Council’s focus on and commitment to reducing our carbon footprint.

“But we absolutely cannot do this alone – we need the community to get behind us, and support ways for us all to have a lighter touch on the world.

“Support from all levels of government will also be crucial.

“We’ll seek to continue to support the pioneering renewables scene in Orkney – whether that is tidal, wave, wind, hydrogen or biofuels. This includes pushing for an improved electricity grid connection from Orkney to mainland Scotland.

“But energy generation is just part of the solution. There are opportunities to change the way things are done right across the spectrum of Orkney life – including big carbon contributors such as transport, agriculture and fishing.

“We are also keen to work with young people and communities with ideas for smaller-scale initiatives that can make a real difference when it comes to making our community carbon free.

Councillors also agreed that the Council will:

  • Work with partners to continue raising awareness with the community and promote understanding of the climate emergency.
  • Work with partners to identify and implement actions our community can take to contribute to carbon reduction.
  • Develop further delivery plan targets for consideration by the Policy and Resources Committee in September 2019.