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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 Scotland's 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:
- Aberdeenshire Council Sustainability Committee
- Carbon budget
- Climate change adaptation
- Climate Change Declaration (pdf 71KB)
- Environmental and climate change policy
- Resources and circular economy commitment
View our 2018/19 climate change duties summary report (pdf 324KB). You can also view detailed reports from previous years or our summary reports from previous years.
As 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:
- 2020/21 carbon budget (pdf 1.1MB)
- 2019/20 carbon budget (pdf 1.1MB)
- 2018/19 carbon budget (pdf 808KB)
Annual progress towards 2030 target
|Financial year||Emissions (tCO2e)||Target required|
|2019/20||Determined in November 2020||55546|
|2020/21||Determined in November 2021||52145|
|2021/22||Determined in November 2022||48744|
|2022/23||Determined in November 2023||45343|
|2023/24||Determined in November 2024||41942|
|2024/25||Determined in November 2025||38541|
|2025/26||Determined in November 2026||35140|
|2026/27||Determined in November 2027||31739|
|2027/28||Determined in November 2028||28338|
|2028/29||Determined in November 2029||24937|
|2029/30||Determined in November 2030||21536|
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.
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 Chief Executive Jim Savege and Council Leader Councillor Jim Gifford 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.
The Resources and Circular Economy Commitment (pdf 375KB) 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.