Carbon Neutral Islands project reaches major milestone

Community Climate Action Plans unveiled.

Six Scottish islands have taken a significant step towards a low carbon future by publishing their Community Climate Action Plans, developed as part of the Carbon Neutral Islands (CNI) project.

Each island community has developed its own plan, compiling existing knowledge and data, and setting out the key actions they will take to help them achieve a carbon neutral and sustainable future.

The project is supporting six Scottish islands - Great Cumbrae, Barra, Hoy, Islay, Raasay and Yell  - to become carbon neutral by 2040.

The pioneering CNI project aims to demonstrate the climate-resilience and low carbon potential of islands and help point the way to actions that can be taken elsewhere in Scotland to help lower emissions and meet Scotland’s climate change targets.

Rural Affairs, Land Reform and Islands Secretary Mairi Gougeon attended an event to launch the plans in Millport, Great Cumbrae. She said:

“This is an exciting project and I am delighted to see the six islands reach this stage. Supporting these islands in their journey towards net zero will not only benefit the environment, but will energise local economies and improve the general wellbeing of islanders.

“The impact of this project will extend well beyond the shores of the six islands. The knowledge gained throughout this journey will be shared to help support all of Scotland’s island communities, and indeed mainland communities, as they seek to forge a future that is both climate-friendly and sustainable.

“It will also extend beyond Scotland. Internationalisation is a key pillar of the Carbon Neutral Islands work. We want to share good practice and build the foundations for practical collaboration with islands partners further afield. ”

“The publication of the six plans is a huge achievement for those involved and marks a significant milestone for the project. Community support is vital to its success - and so I’d like to congratulate everyone who has engaged with us, and helped us to reach this important point.”

Scott J. Watson, Community Development Officer for Cumbrae said:

“We are delighted to welcome the Cabinet Secretary to Great Cumbrae as part of the launch of the Community Climate Action Plans for each of the six islands in the Carbon Neutral Islands Project.

These action plans represent the dedication and collaboration of our island communities and a commitment to tangible, meaningful action that will transform the way we live, work and sustain our islands.

As we work towards the 2040 goals of the Carbon Neutral Islands (CNI) project, the project is about more than the urgent need to reduce our carbon footprint, but also creating resilient, vibrant island communities that will thrive for future generations. The CNI project has and continues to be a great opportunity for the islands involved and an example of what we can achieve working together.”


Carbon Neutral Islands - Community Energy Scotland

The Carbon Neutral Islands project is led by community development officers (CDOs) on each island, employed by the local anchor organisation and working with a steering group of community representatives. Local knowledge and trusted relationships are key to effective community engagement, ensuring the project is driven by, and reflects, the concerns of the island communities.

The next stage of the project will refine the communities’ actions into detailed proposals. The actions will be evaluated in terms of their cost, feasibility, carbon impact, and wider benefits to the community. This will lead to the development of detailed community investment strategies.

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