News

Zero Carbon Islands

Published: 06 Sep 2021 11:39

Islands contributing to net zero commitment.

At least three of Scotland’s islands will become fully carbon neutral by 2040, the Islands Secretary Mairi Gougeon has announced.

The new Carbon Neutral Islands project will help to deliver key commitments in the National Islands Plan and will create jobs, protect Scottish island environments from climate change, and contribute to the Scottish Government’s 2045 net zero commitment.

The Carbon Neutral Islands will also demonstrate the low carbon energy potential of Scotland’s islands as hubs of innovation in renewable energy and climate change resilience, whilst positively impacting on island economies and population retention and growth. The project will involve carbon audits across the islands and a pilot phase to inform learning.

Ms Gougeon said:

“We are determined for Scotland to lead the world in tackling climate change. We know that our islands are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change but also have huge potential and natural capital that will help us meet our net zero ambition. Island communities are already engaged and acting to cut emissions and our commitment to make at least three of our islands carbon neutral by 2040 will seek to build on work already underway. Some of the actions that might be taken could also help address some of the other challenges for our islands like depopulation, the need for tourism to be more sustainable and fuel poverty.

“Scotland’s islands can play a really significant role in the race to Net Zero and we want to give them the tools to do that. Supporting islands to become carbon neutral will help protect their unique heritage, culture and biodiversity, while also delivering on our commitment to support island communities to flourish economically and socially.”

Background

We will soon start the process of consulting with our stakeholders to get their views on how we can work together to deliver this project. We’ll also consider good practices stemming from islands around the world so that we can fully understand how we might reduce emissions as soon as possible. We will also carry out continuous mapping of Scottish islands climate change related projects.