Driving the green agenda

Earlier this month the council unanimously agreed a five-year plan for combating climate change.

This year’s budget also enshrined our ongoing commitment to protecting the people and place from the impacts of global warming.

We are all increasingly trying be greener in our lives and a lot of excellent work is already being carried out by council officers on the organisational front.

The Climate Change Plan 2021-2025 sets out the actions we might take to increase resilience to climate change.

We’re in a good position. There has been a 34% reduction in the council’s corporate carbon emissions since statutory reporting started in 2015/16.

Contributing actions have included connecting nearly 30 buildings to our energy-efficient district heating system, replacing street lights with LED technology, and the introduction of electric and hydrogen vehicles to the council fleet.

As part of the Climate Change Plan 2021-2025, a Project Register Summary includes operational actions from approved programmes, such as the green energy commitment within the gold standard for the new council house building programme.

However, there is always more we can do.

We are continuing to upgrade existing stock to make homes more efficient, expanding connections to existing heat networks, adding more electric vehicle charge points across the city, and increasing the use of sustainable products in council catering.

We are also aiming to build internal awareness and understanding of climate change.

To capture any national legislative and regulatory reforms, a refreshed Climate Change Plan 2021-2025 will be brought back to Full Council in 2025, with a minimum five-year review period.

As the European Capital of Energy, we have a key role to play in leading the transition to renewables.

Our recovery from Covid can only be a green one: the risk from climate change hasn’t gone away during the pandemic.

In the last year we’ve faced quite radical changes to our way of living and working and many of these changes have helped with a temporary reduction in carbon emissions. 

The council recognises this – and the need to be progressive in our approach.

That’s why we included hydrogen investment package worth £38.4 million in our budget. This includes £19.4 million for a new hydrogen hub to generate green energy to heat homes as well as power transport.

Aberdeen is already at the forefront of the hydrogen revolution and could yet become an exporter of hydrogen to UK and European markets.

By aligning all elements of our Net Zero Vision for the city – and by working in partnership with the private sector – we can make sure that our environmental and economic interventions are complementary, creating jobs as well as a healthier planet. 

At the end of the day this about improving welfare and we look forward to updating you about our plans.