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Council Take the Lead in Promoting Greener Public Services (09/05/08)
The Highland Council has reaffirmed its commitment to delivering greener and more efficient public services in the Highlands by re-signing Scotland’s Climate Change Declaration.
This consolidates existing commitments to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and introducing climate change mitigation and adaptation measures in new and existing strategies, plans and proposals. For example, 170 schools are registered with the Eco-schools Awards Scheme; a recycling rate of 30% is being achieved; an additional £1.662 million is being spent on further recycling services, including an expansion of kerbside recycling service to rural households and the 2006-7 Energy Management Performance Plan achieved nearly 16% reductions in energy use and associated CO2 emissions.
Convener Councillor Sandy Park said: “Climate change is one of the toughest new challenges facing local government and Scotland’s Climate Change Declaration is a powerful demonstration of how Councils can work together to make a significant difference. It is vital that the Council is in the front line in responding to the impacts of climate change in the Highlands, which includes the central commitment we have already made to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This reinforces the Highlands’ reputation as a green, clean and secure place for communities and visitors alike.”
The Council is developing a Highland Climate Change Strategy, recognising the immediate need to develop climate change adaptation measures based on an assessment of risks and opportunities for services and communities. Adaptation measures include maintenance regimes and infrastructure upgrades to protect against extreme weather events and flood prevention and control.
Councillor Drew Hendry, Chairman of the Climate Change Working Group, said: “Our support demonstrates an ambition and commitment to tackling climate change and delivering real change. As one of the biggest employers in the Highlands, we will lead by example in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting measures that mitigate the impacts of climate change.”