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Tackling Global Warming

Issued: 14 Feb 2007

Tackling global warming and reducing carbon emissions has emerged as a key priority for Highland Councillors, who intend to lead by example in 'greening' their own schools and offices by improving their energy efficiency and using renewable energy sources. At the same time, the Council will require all developers of large developments, including superstores, to install energy gain systems and grey water systems in new buildings.

The Council has set up a Climate Change Working Group to progress a plan of action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt its services, resources, plans and policies to deal with global warming and the increase of the frequency of extreme weather events.

In setting the budget, the Council has dedicated an additional £1 million towards tackling the increasing incidence of flooding.

The Council also wants to:-
(a) ensure that a 'low carbon' approach is woven into the delivery of all building projects under the Council's capital programme;
(b) commission a clear appraisal of the supply and market for woodchip over the next 20 years;
(c) influence the adoption of 'low carbon' design practice for all new developments in the Highlands;
(d) lobby the Scottish Executive to ensure that the Scottish Building Standards and Scottish planning policy actively promotes 'low carbon' design;
(e) review the operation of Highland Energy Advice Centre to deliver more effective advice and action on alternative energy sources as well as energy efficiency;
(f) explore options for a partnership approach to achieving more widespread buy-in to 'low carbon' energy solutions in the Highlands; and
(g) explore in principle the potential for the Council to take part in the Carbon Trust's 'Partnership for Renewables' scheme.

In agreeing to require all developers of large developments, including superstores, to install energy gain systems and grey water systems, the Council agreed that an implementation plan be brought back to the Council by the Director of Planning and Development.
Councillor Michael Foxley, Vice-Convener and Chairman of the Climate Change Working Group, said: "Tackling global warming is a major issue and the measures we are proposing will impact on our spending priorities in the future. It is vital that we are in the front line in responding to the impacts of climate change in the Highlands, which includes the central commitment we have already made to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

"I am especially pleased that the Council unanimously agreed that there should be a planning condition for the new large developments to install energy gain and grey water systems."

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