Environmental campaigners have backed a Moray Council blueprint to address the climate change emergency – but have stressed it must be followed by action.
Councillors are due to debate a strategy on Wednesday which aims to make the local authority carbon neutral by 2030.
Proposed changes include moving away from fossil fuels for all council vehicles, encouraging more recycling to reduce landfill waste and investments to make buildings more energy efficient.
Moray Council declared a “climate change emergency” in June 2019 amid protests from about 100 activists outside the chambers.
Forres-based Extinction Rebellion, who formed much of the demonstration, have welcomed the publication of the strategy but have warned it is critical to make changes quickly.
Group member Simon Clark said: “Moray Council’s officers clearly understand the depth of the climate crisis we are in and have produced a clear, well thought through strategy to play its part in tackling it.
“However we must never forget we are in a climate emergency only because sweet words of understanding and concern have not been met with the required political and corporate action over the last thirty years.”
Climate change warnings facing Moray
Warnings have been made the north-east is likely to face an increased risk of “extreme droughts” in the coming decades with Speyside expected to be one of the areas most at risk.
Moray Council’s proposed climate change strategy includes an annual staffing budget of £164,000.
Speyside Glenlivet councillor Louise Nicol, chairwoman of the council’s climate change working group, said: “In the report to councillors the inclusion of funding to support the implementation of the climate change strategy is vital to our delivery of getting the Council to net zero.
“All going well, this week will mark the final approval of the strategy and I am looking forward to both the debate on these plans and to the hugely important work that lies ahead as we do what we can to help secure our planet for future generations.”