Positive climate change progress- achieving a low carbon future

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Climate Emergency Fife: Let's tackle climate change together
Members of Fife Council’s Cabinet Committee today (17 November 2022) were briefed on plans, projects and ground-breaking world-class innovations to reduce carbon emissions and tackle climate change, approving its Public Bodies Climate Change Duties Report.

This report, now set to be submitted to the Scottish Government, outlines how the council is performing and reveals good progress against its targets since reporting began in 2016, with a 61% reduction since the 1990 baseline. The Public Bodies Report details where staff are deployed to mitigate and adapt to climate change and how staff are working with communities. Members noted that the council is committed to aligning spending plans and resources to tackle the climate emergency.

Over 2021/22 there was a reduction in emissions from business mileage and electricity emissions in Fife Council vehicles. Climate Knowhow training is available and over 120 members and staff have undergone training to date, with rollout ongoing.

Cllr Jan Wincott, Fife Council’s Spokesperson - Environment & Climate Change said: “These are challenging times and we’re committed to combatting climate change. A range of actions are underway to shift the net zero agenda forward by 2045, in line with Scottish Government targets.”

“Decarbonising heat is a critical challenge and will require investment. The energy crisis is now being experienced by households and businesses, bringing to the fore the need to reduce energy demand and carbon emissions. Council services are now working to tackle this by supporting services, households and businesses to manage their energy and to keep warm this winter.”

The recent revision of the Plan 4 Fife (plan for the future of local public services) added ‘Addressing the Climate Emergency’ as one of the 4 key objectives. The main areas of activity are across identifying and managing impacts on communities and services, improving council homes and buildings, and linking to community wealth building.

Fife Council teams are working with communities, organisations and businesses to cut carbon emissions by:

  • implementing solutions to make buildings much more efficient, as well as reduce energy costs. Climate ready buildings include the new Dunfermline Learning Campus, which is being constructed using cutting edge low-carbon technologies and building techniques.
  • carbon emission reduction projects, including energy efficiency improvements, such as the installation of air source heat pumps in schools and office buildings, the rolling out of LED streetlighting and a reduction in the number of servers at our datacentres.
  • partnering with Climate Action Fife (a National Lottery funded partnership project) and delivery of Climate Literacy to build awareness of the need to adapt and build capacity to take action against climate change. Officers are also working with Greener Kirkcaldy to create climate resistant communities and tackle community issues – such as reducing energy use and accessing cheaper, healthier food.
  • working with SGN to develop H100 Fife, a world-first hydrogen network in Buckhaven and Denbeath that will bring renewable hydrogen into around 300 homes in 2024, providing zero-carbon fuel for heating and cooking.
  • focusing on sustainable transport options, including supporting Transport Scotland’s £116.6M Levenmouth Rail Link Project that will reinstate the railway line connecting Leven with Thornton Junction – improving more sustainable, greener public transport links.