Targeted programme drives down carbon emissions across South Ayrshire
Carbon emissions from South Ayrshire Council fell by above target levels last year according to the latest official figures.
A range of measures are currently being looked at which are designed to promote greater efficiency and save money for frontline services.
The Climate Change (Scotland) Act has set national targets for public sector bodies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 42% by 2020 and 80% by 2050. In South Ayrshire, between 2015/16 and 2016/17 carbon emissions fell by 3.5% to 25,645 tonnes, which builds on steady improvements realised in the last 10 years.
Recent measures to reduce carbon emissions in South Ayrshire include: reduced energy consumption through the introduction of LED street lighting; energy efficiency measures to insulate more than 350 homes; replacing obsolete boilers in a number of Council buildings with energy efficient replacements; replacing diesel and petrol fleet cars with eight electric vehicles; and a significant increase in recycling in schools, partly realised through the work of the Provost’s Footprint Challenge, an award designed to make schools more environmentally friendly.
South Ayrshire Council is now developing a Sustainable Development and Climate Change Strategy. As part of this approach the Council will realise further reductions, promote ways to reduce carbon emissions, while also putting adaptation measures in place to help respond to climate change for issues including flooding and coastal erosion.
Councillor Ian Cochrane, South Ayrshire Council’s Portfolio Holder for Sustainability & the Environment said that steady progress is being made, “We all have a responsibility to reduce carbon emissions and energy use and the Council is working hard to deliver high standards for our communities. There are a lot of positives to take from the last year with our overall figure ahead of target, and a host of projects underway to help reduce carbon emissions and free up money for frontline services.
“However, with too much household waste still being sent to landfill we still have work to do. We're already working to turn this around with plans being considered to improve our recycling rate by transforming the way we tackle our waste.
“But this doesn’t take away from our good progress and with a dedicated strategy in the pipeline to help inform all future decisions, we’ll be able to take a consistent approach and realise further improvements in the years ahead.”