WORKING together is the only way Fife will tackle the challenges around climate change, according to the Convener of Fife Council's Environment Committee, Cllr Ross Vettraino.
And he called on Fifers and partner organisations to get behind the council's new Climate Fife Action Plan (Climate Fife) that sets out the changes urgently needed to respond effectively to our climate emergency because "our Fife matters".
He commented: "Climate Fife" is, without doubt, the most important document that we have discussed as a council and is a huge piece of work.
"We need to lead the way in changing attitudes, and everyone has to work together, if we are to be successful in combating climate change. Greater co-ordination across the public sector is critical to deliver the scale and pace of the changes needed. Everyone has a responsibility now - the situation is critical so we must work together and we must do it now."
Fife's carbon footprint has fallen by over 55% compared to 1990 emission levels which sets a good foundation. The council has now committed to a target for zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045 at the latest, which will mean a huge transformation in Fife's communities. According to the "Our Fife Matters" report all aspects of day to day life will have to change from:
- how we heat and power our homes
- where and how we build
- how we move around
- investment decisions
- the type of industry and businesses that will thrive
- jobs and skills
- waste management
- what we eat and
- how we use our land
As a major land-owner, employer, energy and fuel consumer the council has huge influence on over 40% of Fife's carbon footprint and is committed to leading the way and de-carbonising as quickly as possible.
Many issues are already being tackled including:
- the Light Fife Green project which is continuing to replace all Fife's street lights with energy efficient bulbs reducing associated carbon emissions by over 40%.
- expanding the electric vehicle charging network to 64 chargers across Fife. This nearly doubles the current provision and will make it easier for Fifers and those visiting to move to electric vehicles. 1200 people used the electric car chargers last year. 500 users live in Fife.
- increasing the number of electric cars in the council's fleet
- reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill, Fife currently recycles 54.7% of waste
- replacing disposable plastics with reusable products in Fife Council buildings.
Cllr Vettraino added: I’m urging local people to take action where they can – whether it’s reducing food waste, using your home energy more efficiently, cycling and walking instead of driving, or re-thinking public transport options. We want to involve everyone in thinking about how we can make real changes. Together, we can all make a difference."
Visit climatechange.fife.scot for more information.