SHETLAND AMENITY Trust has been awarded £92,000 for a two-year project to reduce Shetland’s carbon footprint by between 28,000 and 50,000 tonnes.
The funding, sourced from the Scottish government through the Climate Challenge Fund, will be used to appoint a full-time carbon reduction officer and implement a number of carbon reduction schemes.
The officer will work closely with households, individuals, the service sector, schools, business, statutory organisations, community groups, youth groups and architects to cut emissions.
Also, as part of the overall scheme, the officer will assist the trust to: develop and implement carbon reduction plans; produce a dedicated Shetland carbon reduction web site; undertake a high profile awareness campaign; facilitate the free loan of “smart” energy monitors; work with existing agencies such as ZetTrans in the promotion of car share schemes; produce case studies in relation to carbon neutral design and new build; showcase small scale renewables; introduce a plastic carrier bag re-use scheme to local shops and distribute free energy saving bulbs.
Michael Clifton, environment project officer with Shetland Amenity Trust, said: “As an island community, everyone in Shetland is very conscious of climate change – it directly affects every one of us. We are looking forward to working with the community in all parts of Shetland to reduce our carbon based emissions. Our targets are meaningful and ambitious, but we are confident the community of Shetland will enthusiastically embrace this project.” Many of the schemes the trust will implement are new to Shetland and some will involve close working with Shetland Islands Council, particularly ZetTrans and the council’s energy unit, to maximise existing opportunities and avoid duplication of effort. Mr Clifton said: “We will also be working closely with statutory organisations throughout Shetland to extend the good lead by the council and the health board, to name two, on carbon reduction initiatives. Our main thrust however will be with community groups, individuals, business and the third sector. This is a very prevalent sector in Shetland and collectively they do have huge potential to reduce Shetland’s carbon emissions. We will be assisting them in that aim.”
As part of the project, the new carbon reduction officer will be expected to join the growing number of corporate bike users within Lerwick by cycling to local meetings by means of the trust company bike.