Climate change and sustainability

The Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 requires us to act sustainably, contribute to carbon emissions reduction targets and to climate change adaptation. We are expected, along with all Scottish public bodies, to lead by example in combating climate change and making a valuable contribution towards achieving our emissions reduction targets. Aberdeenshire Council has a target of 75% by 2030 and Net Zero by 2045 from the 2010/11 baseline year.

On this page you can find out more about what we do to tackle climate change:

All of our annual Public Bodies Climate Change Duties Reports since 2014/15 are available to view.

Carbon budget

Chart with annual progress towards 2030 targetAs part of the council's commitment to climate change mitigation, we set our first carbon budget for 2017/18. We are the first local authority in Scotland to implement such a budget. This approach is to make sure that we are placing as much focus on our carbon footprint as we do on our financial budgets.

An annual carbon budget figure is set each year to keep the council on track for its commitment to reduce emissions by 75% by 2030 and Net Zero by 2045 using 2010/11 as a baseline year. Management of the necessary annual reduction in emissions is the responsibility of the Senior Leadership Team with support from key services and the Sustainability Team.

The carbon budget is set in February each year at the same time as the financial budget and is monitored throughout the year by the Sustainability Committee:

Annual progress towards 2030 target

Financial year Emissions (tCO2e) Target required
2010/11 86155 86155
2011/12  78400 82924
2012/13 82782 79693
2013/14 77265  76462
2014/15 81805 73231
2015/16 79537 70000
2016/17 73587 66769 
2017/18 66802 63538
2018/19 57992 60307
2019/20 55687 57076
2020/21 45282 53845
2021/22 Determined in November 2022 50614
2022/23 Determined in November 2023 47383
2023/24 Determined in November 2024 44152
2024/25 Determined in November 2025 40921
2025/26 Determined in November 2026 37690
2026/27 Determined in November 2027 34459
2027/28 Determined in November 2028 31228
2028/29 Determined in November 2029 27997
2029/30 Determined in November 2030 24766
2030/31 Determined in November 2031 21539

Climate change adaptation

Scotland is already experiencing the effects of climate change, and climate projections for the next century indicate that the climate trends observed over the last century will not only continue but are likely to intensify.

Adapting to climate change will be necessary regardless of how much we manage to cut our emissions, as historic emissions have already changed our climate and will continue to do so in decades to come.

The Scottish Climate Change Adaptation Programme (SCCAP) launched in 2019 will help us prepare for the impact of climate change. To help deliver this, the Council has assessed Aberdeenshire’s vulnerability to climate change and how to improve for future weather events, through completion of the 2011 to 2018 Local Climate Impact Profile (LCLIP) (PDF 9.9MB). This has led to the creation of Climate Ready Aberdeenshire, a shared vision, strategy and action plan for Aberdeenshire to adapt to the impact of climate change.

Environmental and climate change policy

The environmental and climate change policy sets out ways in which the council fulfils its commitment to sustainable development and safeguarding the environment, as well as meeting statutory responsibilities laid out in legislation.

The policy was approved by the Policy and Resources Committee in November 2016. The policy was reaffirmed by the Chief Executive and Council Leader in February 2018. It commits the council to leading by example in reducing the impact that its services and functions have on the environment and climate change. This means reducing our greenhouse gases emitted in the provision of services, conserving our natural resources and enhancing the region’s biodiversity to improve the health and well-being of Aberdeenshire residents.

View the Environmental and Climate Change Policy.

Resources and circular economy commitment

The Resources and Circular Economy Commitment (PDF 110KB) has been developed to provide us direction, as we move towards greater sustainability and responsibility in the way we consider, purchase and manage physical resources, and towards supporting a more circular economy.

Transportation

Aberdeenshire Council is part of the North East of Scotland Transport Partnership (Nestrans), which develops and delivers long-term regional transport strategy. We also deliver a range of strategies, projects and support relating to transportation and sustainability. Further details can be found through our Transportation web page.

Biodiversity and natural heritage

We deliver a range of strategies, projects and support relating to biodiversity and natural heritage. Further details can be found through our Natural Heritage web page.

Procurement

Example procurement questions (PDF 118KB) have been developed to support the consideration of sustainability and climate change issues by potential bidders for council contracts.

Contact us

For further information, please contact the Sustainability and Climate Change Team by emailing sustainability@aberdeenshire.gov.uk.