An action plan to secure carbon neutral status for Moray Council has been approved and sets out policies to make the local authority carbon neutral by 2030.
Moray Council’s Climate Change Strategy plan follows the climate emergency that the council declared in June 2019 and actions include improving energy efficiency across the council’s estate to have all buildings operated and owned by the council, including schools, achieve net zero.
Increasing electric vehicle charging points, active travel and sustainability and recycling in schools also forms part of the aspirations and a dedicated team will progress the work of monitoring and reducing the carbon footprint from council buildings and vehicles, as well as switching to renewable energy supplies.
Climate change and biodiversity considerations will also become standard in all future council reports and development masterplans, with the new team also tackling awareness raising and behavioural change in the community.
Chair of Moray Council’s Climate Change Working Group, Councillor Louise Nicol said: “It feels like this plan has been a long time coming, with Covid delays setting us back initially.
“Having said that, we’ve already seen a number of changes to council policies to reflect the climate change objectives, so this final passing of the strategy will give us the impetus for even more change.
“We all have a responsibility for changing our own behaviour and influencing those around us. With the council now leading the charge by embedding active change to improve, and ultimately eradicate our carbon emissions, I hope to see communities follow that lead.
“This Climate Change Strategy is ambitious and aspirational, which is exactly where we need to be aiming if we’re serious about tackling the challenge ahead of us to benefit future generations.”
A number of climate change policies have already been introduced within Moray Council, including:
- Embedding the targets, aims and aspirations of the Climate Change Strategy within Moray Council's Corporate Plan.
- Making school meals more sustainable with a reduced carbon impact.
- Identifying opportunities for food production, renewable energy and woodland planting.
- A policy on coastal change in the Local Development Plan.
- Additional guidance on sustainable design and construction.
- A planning condition introduced for developers to report on their actions to reduce carbon emissions from building stage to completed development.