Recent figures published by the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change reveal that Aberdeenshire’s carbon emissions to be 10.8 tonnes per head. This is the third worst in mainland Scotland with only East Lothian and Falkirk being worse. If we take out the industrial & commercial elements, then Aberdeenshire is worst.
Aberdeenshire led the way in producing a Sustainability Charter but this seems to be merely a piece of paper full of good intentions rather than a document that has led to real action.
A few weeks ago it emerged that Aberdeenshire was failing to meet its own targets in reducing business travel by over half a million miles per year. On a wider set of figures showing where Aberdeenshire was
also missing its climate change and sustainability targets, I challenged Aberdeenshire’s performance at Infrastructure Services last week but Chair Peter Argyle dismissed my concerns saying it was all in hand. It clearly is not.
Across Aberdeenshire CO2 emissions from 2005 to 2007 showed no change for either domestic consumption or road transport and a small drop for the commercial and industrial sector. But it is worrying that Aberdeenshire is seeing land use changes including deforestation, changes to farm practises and conversion of farmland to settlements that equated to 1.3 tonnes of CO2 emissions per head in 2007, an increase on the 2005 and 2006 figures.”
This clearly can not be sustained. The next local plan will need to be much more robust about ensuring that we stop eating into valuable farmland and reduce the need to travel. NESTRANS will need to refocus
its priorities on public transport improvements, the shift towards walking and cycling and forget about unaffordable road schemes.
Earth Hour tomorrow, 16th October. Switch all your lights off for just one hour - 7pm to 8pm.
This post is part of Blog Action Day 2009 Climate Change