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Six islands to become carbon neutral by 2040 as part of Scotland’s net-zero goals

Carbon neutral islands project
Island of Yell near Shetland. Shutterstock.

Six islands will work to become carbon neutral by 2040 as part of the Scottish Government’s net zero ambitions.

Ambitious targets have been set by the government to reach net zero by 2045 and the hope is the Carbon Neutral Islands project will help towards lowering carbon output.

Those included in the scheme are Hoy, Islay, Great Cumbrae, Raasay, Barra and Yell.

A report will be published over the summer detailing plans for individual islands and how to reduce carbon emissions on each island.

Carbon neutral islands project
Barra, one of the islands involved in the Carbon Neutral Islands project. Shutterstock.

This will be led by the Scottish Government collaborating with key partners and the island communities.

The Carbon Neutral Islands project aims to share good sustainable practices and learnings with other Scottish islands.

It will eventually become the blueprint for the whole country to transition to net-zero by 2045.

While some islands are home to only a few hundred people, like Raasay and Hoy, islands like Islay and Barra are popular tourist destinations.

‘Support six islands in their journey towards carbon neutrality’

In October 2021, the Bunnahabhain distillery on Islay announced it would aim for a net-zero emission distillation process.

Carbon neutral islands project
Bunnahabhain distillery on Islay. Picture: John Doe

The announcement came during a debate in the Scottish Parliament by Rural Affairs and Islands Secretary Mairi Gougeon.

She said: “Scotland is at the forefront of climate change mitigation and adaptation at the global level, and I’ve always believed that our islands will contribute significantly to the country’s net-zero commitment.

“I was pleased to announce at COP26 that we are taking this ambition further than the original commitment, now aiming to support six islands in their journey towards carbon neutrality by 2040.

“This project is another testament to Scottish islands being in the vanguard of innovation, leading the way in the journey to net-zero while supporting other areas across Scotland.”

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