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YOUR VIEWS: Extinction Rebellion hits out as Highland Council delays net zero target

By Gregor White

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Council leader Raymond Bremner, chief executive Derek Brown and chair of the climate change committee Karl Rosie with the council's net zero startegy – but is it enough?
Council leader Raymond Bremner, chief executive Derek Brown and chair of the climate change committee Karl Rosie with the council's net zero startegy – but is it enough?

Extinction Rebellion Inverness members hit out over Highland Council climate targets.

Highland Council delays net zero target by 20 years

In 2019, Highland Council declared a climate and ecological emergency and said they would aim to achieve net zero emissions by 2025.

Highland Council only launched their Net Zero Strategy this month (October 5), four years after declaring their net zero target. They have yet to issue their action plan on how they will achieve this strategy but say this is likely in December this year.

In the strategy, Highland Council now say they are targeting net zero by 2045, or earlier. This is a 20-year delay and this target only applies to council operations not emissions within Highland Council region.

The Highland Council’s decision to shift their net-zero target from 2025 to 2045 represents a significant delay. It is therefore essential for communities and individuals to hold councils and governments accountable for their climate commitments.

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Delays in reaching net-zero targets can have detrimental effects on efforts to combat climate change. To address this situation, concerned local people and groups can:

  • Engage in Public dialogue: Raise awareness about the delay in the net-zero target through public discussions, social media and local news outlets. Encourage open dialogue about the reasons behind the delay and how we can change things.
  • Press for change: Advocate for the Highland Council to take more immediate and effective actions to reduce emissions. Encourage them to revisit their strategies, set more ambitious goals and allocate resources accordingly.
  • Monitor progress: Continuously monitor the council’s progress toward its new 2045 target, holding them accountable for meeting interim milestones and goals.
  • Support alternative solutions: Promote and support local and community-based initiatives that aim to reduce carbon emissions independently of the council’s timeline. For example, the possibility of a publicly owned community renewable energy company.
  • Collaborate: Collaborate with other organisations and businesses within the Highlands, to influence policy and action on climate change.

It’s crucial that local people and communities continue to emphasise the urgency of addressing climate change and work together to encourage responsible and ambitious actions from governments and councils. If you want to find out more on what you can do, contact Extinction Rebellion Highlands and Islands at xrinverness@protonmail.com and make your voice heard.

XR Inverness

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