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Sunday, January 19, 2020

Climate change plan gets green light

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A STRATEGY for combating climate change and dealing with its impact has been adopted by Aberdeen City Council.  


“Aberdeen Adapts” identifies measures to safeguard people, the place and the economy from extreme weather events in the years ahead. 


The City Growth and Resources Committee today approved the final version of the Aberdeen Adapts: Climate Adaptation Framework, which builds on work ranging from emergency planning to education programmes to technological innovation. 


Climate change is expected to bring wetter winters in Aberdeen as well as hotter, drier summers, and carries risks around the world from flooding to heatwaves.  


Transport connections, food production, energy supplies, natural habitats, the built environment – all are risk from the effects of global warming. For vulnerable people, the impacts could be even greater, widening inequalities.   


More than 40 local groups were involved in drawing up the Framework, which was subject to an eight-week public consultation.  


Feedback from stakeholders highlighted a strong preference for aligning work to adapt to a changing climate with actions to manage resources in an environmentally responsible way.  


Aberdeen Adapts will sit alongside Powering Aberdeen, the city’s Sustainable Energy Action Plan, which aims to increase uptake of sustainable and renewable technologies.  


Aberdeen is also leading the way in transitioning to a carbon-neutral economy, having invested in hydrogen-powered transport and delivered a Combined Heat and Power Schemes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.     


A separate report, also approved by the committee, outlined progress in terms of identifying a Low Emission Zone (LEZ) for Aberdeen, with a focus on the city centre.  


An LEZ would protect public health by improving air quality as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions from traffic. 


Draft objectives have been developed by the Aberdeen LEZ Delivery Group, comprising representatives of the Council, Aberdeenshire Council, Nestrans, NHS Grampian, Transport Scotland, transport consultants SYSTRA and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA). 


Consultation is taking place with stakeholders, including transport providers and the local business community, and public engagement is scheduled for 2020 as options for a LEZ are brought forward. 


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