New Climate Change Group in the Outer Hebrides

On 22 August, the Outer Hebrides Community Planning Partnership discussed the Climate Emergency for Scotland declared by the First Minister in April 2019.

OHCPP recognised that climate change is happening now, and that it is likely to impact on our economy, our culture and our lifestyles. How we choose to respond will impact on future generations.

In 2012, OHCPP agreed a Climate Change Declaration committing all partners to reduce carbon emissions by 3% every year. This was a positive step, but in order to contribute to meeting the Scottish Government target of net zero emissions by 2045, OHCPP recognises that there is a need to accelerate the approach taken.

A new Climate Change Group has been established, with broad representation from public bodies throughout the Outer Hebrides. Members of the group are: Scottish Natural Heritage, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, NHS Western Isles, Scottish Environment Protection Agency, University of Highlands and Islands, Members of Scottish Youth Parliament, Tighean Innse Gall, Hebridean Housing Partnership, Community Land Sector, Third Sector Interface, and Western Isles Emergency Planning Group.

The Climate Change Group had its first meeting yesterday, starting the process of developing actions and targets around climate issues for subsequent inclusion in the OHCPP Local Outcome Improvement Plan.

David Maclennan, Climate Change Group Chair, said: ”Whilst climate change is a global issue, impacts in Scotland, and in the Outer Hebrides, are already apparent. We can expect to see more extreme weather events in the future – so we need to take steps to reduce our own carbon emissions and get ready to respond to a changing climate and environment.”

“The new Climate Change Group will work towards improving our understanding of climate change in the Outer Hebrides, and developing actions and plans which will help us to adapt to the changing climate for the benefit of the community, the economy and our natural environment. As part of this process, we will seek opportunities for local engagement so we can hear directly from people throughout the islands.”