Aberdeen City Council has approved a five-year climate change plan which sets net zero targets for the council’s assets and operations.
Councillors unanimously backed the ‘Climate Change Plan 2021-2025: Towards a Net Zero and Climate Resilient Council’ report, which outlines actions to reduce carbon emissions and increase resilience to climate change.
The plan sets out the scope of the council’s ambitions towards net zero, including interim targets for a reduction in carbon emissions from council assets and operations and indicates climate risks affecting the council, as well as outlining the project priorities being taken forward to 2025.
It also shows that cities like Aberdeen, widely regarded as Europe’s ‘energy capital’, have a key role to play in leading such a transition and represents the council’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions from its own operations.
Data from the local authority’s Climate Change Report indicates there has been a 34% reduction in the council’s corporate carbon emissions since statutory reporting started in 2015/16.
Contributing actions have included connections for 26 public buildings to district heating, a programme of energy efficiency measures, street lighting replacement to LED and the introduction of electric and hydrogen vehicles to the council’s fleet.
The plan includes relevant operational actions from approved council programmes, including the gold standard new 2,000 council house building programme and includes enabling actions to support the integration of climate change in council systems, as well as processes to build internal awareness and understanding of climate change.
To achieve the targets in the plan, the council named 39 projects, including:
- Expanding connections to existing heat networks and plan wider connections.
- Ongoing energy efficiency upgrades for council housing stock.
- Identifying locations for electric vehicle charge points for fleet and staff vehicles.
- Converting 42 refuse collection fleet vehicles to dual fuel (hydrogen/diesel).
- Completing LED street lighting replacement programme.
- Increasing the use of local, sustainable, seasonable products in council catering.
To keep abreast of changes to relevant national legislation, policy, procedure, regulation and guidance, the Climate Change Plan 2021-2025 will be reviewed and a new plan brought back to councillors in 2025 and following this, the plan will be reviewed every five years or earlier if required.
Commenting, Aberdeen City Council Co-Leader, Councillor Jenny Laing said: “Aberdeen City Council has long recognised the challenges of climate change and the need to reduce emissions, and we are committed to ensuring Aberdeen plays a full and active role in the collective effort to reduce global emissions.
"By approving this Climate Change Plan and the additional recommendations, Aberdeen City Council can ensure we are positively contributing to national climate change targets both as an organisation and as a leader within the city.”
In December 2020, Scotland’s Climate Change Plan was updated to reflect the policy and actions required to meet the Scottish Government target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045.