What we will do for our environment

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  1. we will -
    • a) reduce carbon emissions from the Council's operations by 12% by 2012 (from a 2007/8 base-line); covering emissions from buildings, business travel, internal waste, street lighting, fleet and water consumption.
    • b) Introduce a programme across the Highlands to reduce energy use in street lighting.
    • c) Promote the Highland Climate Change Declaration and encourage 30 new organisations to share information and best practice, and to commit to reduce carbon emissions by 3% per year.
    • d) In adapting to the impacts of climate change we will map the opportunities and threats facing Highland and develop appropriate actions to build resilience to such impacts by 2012.
  2. We will continue to work with the Scottish Government, UK and EU partners to promote and enhance forestry, farming, fishing and crofting in the Highlands. 
  3. We wish to see by 2012, a total of 1640 megawatts installed capacity in suitable locations in Highland with improved capacity of grid connections and as part of the implementation of the Council’s Renewable Energy Strategy, support the potential for marine energy in the Pentland Firth.
  4. We will adopt and implement a new policy, following wide consultation, to ensure a greater degree and more equitable and widespread disbursement of community benefit, including community control and ownership, for Highland communities from renewable energy developments.
  5. We will adopt updated Council sustainable design guidance and publish measurable commitments on energy saving by promoting higher standards of thermal and solar efficiency for new buildings.
  6. Ensure that all of our building projects, for both new and refurbished facilities, will comply with best practice in sustainability to ensure the Council is seen as an exemplar organisation in sustainable design and facilities management.
  7. As well as improving the energy efficiency of our Council housing stock, reduce the Council’s energy use and carbon emissions from our buildings by 15% by 2010-11, from a baseline of 2005, by reducing or avoiding energy costs  - completed 2009/10.
  8. We will increase the use of renewable microgeneration technology sources to provide energy in the Council estate, with appropriate integration of Wind Turbines, Biomass fuel boilers, combined heat and power (CHP) and solar energy, increasing the overall  output from 1800kW in 2008 to a minimum of 8000kW by 2012.
  9. We will complete the Inverness South West Flood Relief Channel by 2012-13.
  10. Allocate resources appropriately between winter maintenance to drainage and watercourse maintenance, as well as local small scale flood prevention schemes, in recognition of the effects of climate change, with a minimum of 10 small scale flood prevention schemes completed each year.
  11. We will develop 24 green travel plans for Council and partner sites, install active travel equipment and achieve the Cycle Friendly Employer Award for six sites by 2012.
  12. Develop sustainable options for waste treatment within the Highlands and put measures in place to reduce the amount of residual waste disposed of in landfill outside the Highlands by 26,500 tonnes by 2013.
  13. We will -
    • a) increase the amount of waste recycled in the Highlands to 50% by 2013.
    • b) Introduce a programme of alternate weekly collection of municipal waste by April 2012. 
  14. Limit the amount of biodegradable waste going to landfill.
  15. We will purchase less paper for Council offices and provide recycling facilities in all offices by 2012.
  16. Give a high priority to community works, ensuring our communities are well looked after through grounds maintenance, litter picking, street cleaning, education and awareness and by the use of enforcement measures to support zero tolerance on littering and fly tipping.
  17. Work with our Local Access Forums to draw up and implement a system of core path plans for the Highlands.
  18. We will continue to support allotments where there is demand, with 8 new allotment schemes supported by 2012.
  19. The Council will work with the Highland Biodiversity Partnership and Local Biodiversity Groups to promote and enhance biodiversity within the Highlands.

    We will also represent the interests of the Highlands by working with partners, Scottish and UK Governments, to protect and enhance our environment.

    We will:
  20. Oppose any proposal for new nuclear power generation in the Highland area. We will continue to support the above ground storage of intermediate level waste from Dounreay until a Scottish waste strategy is agreed and implemented and object to the use of Dounreay or any other site within the Highlands for a national nuclear waste repository.
  21. Actively support a GM-free Highland.
  22. Work with the Scottish Government and SEPA to introduce the requirements set out in the Flood Risk (Scotland) Act 2009 and continue to progress Flood Prevention Orders for areas where there is a history of flooding affecting residential properties.
  23. Work for a review of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 with a view to improving the legislation.
  24. We will continue to work with the Scottish and UK governments to seek effective control and monitoring of the movement of hazardous cargoes in the Minches and the Pentland Firth and work to retain the presence of Emergency Towing Vehicles and the Coastguard facilities in Stornoway and Lerwick.