Human driven climate change poses an urgent threat to the very delicate balance that enables us, and the nature we rely on, to thrive. We still have time to act, but that window is quickly closing and requires us to drastically reduce our emissions and restore nature.
Moray Council recognises this urgency and is committed to:
• reducing its own emissions
• supporting the wider Moray community to do the same
• enhancing biodiversity
• adapting to unavoidable impacts
You can read the full Climate Change Strategy 2020-2030 here.
Journey to Net Zero
Moray Council aims to reduce its carbon emissions to net zero by 2030.
You can read the full Route Map to Net Zero here.
How are we doing so far?
A 17% decrease of greenhouse gas emissions was recorded between 2019/20 and 2020/21. Some of the key areas the council is working on to further reduce emissions are summarised below.
To view the council’s full annual climate change reports, please visit the Sustainable Scotland Network.
Waste Moray has excellent recycling rates. Changes to waste management arrangements have recently seen a further increase in recycling and reduction of waste going to landfill. Gases emitted from landfill account for a large proportion of the council’s total emissions so diverting waste from landfill is a key priority. Progressive capping at the landfill site captures the gasses it produces which are then fed into the grid.
Heat and energy Electricity, gas and oil used in council buildings (including schools) combine to make up the majority of council emissions. The council is working to improve energy efficiency in existing buildings and to ensure that construction of new buildings has minimal carbon impact.
Transport Emissions from the council’s vehicle fleet mainly come from diesel fuel, the replacement of which for our HGV and large bus fleet presents a challenge. At the start of 2022, 8% of the council’s fleet has already been changed to electric, this and a programme to implement supporting infrastructure will continue. Other zero carbon emission alternatives are also being explored.
Food Moray Council signed the Glasgow Food and Climate Declaration in September 2021, committing us to developing sustainable food policies and strategies that will tackle the climate and nature emergency. The council’s award winning school catering team have ensured that all primary school meals now benefit pupil health, the environment and the local economy.
Local Development A core aim of Moray’s Local Development Plan 2020 is to encourage efficient use of land and promote low carbon and sustainable development. Specific principles are in place requiring developers to design for low and zero carbon emissions and to avoid development on carbon rich soils.
Local Heat and Energy Efficiency Strategy (LHEES) The Scottish Government’s LHEES concept aims for area based plans to be developed in order to systematically improve the energy efficiency of buildings and decarbonise heat. Moray Council has participated in a pilot project to test the LHEES concept and build a knowledge base with baseline data and costing which would inform future work if LHEES becomes a statutory duty of local authorities.
Education Moray schools deliver Learning for Sustainability as an important part of the curriculum, supporting understanding of climate change within our communities. Improvements to school buildings and grounds to further support outdoor learning are ongoing across Moray.
Sustainable Travel The council promotes active and sustainable travel through a number of initiatives. The transition to zero and low carbon forms of transport are being supported through infrastructure improvements as well as working with schools and communities to encourage behaviour change.
Local Economy The council recognises the importance of vibrant and resilient local businesses in building a sustainable, low carbon economy for Moray. Our procurement strategy reflects the Council’s commitment to community wealth building and increasing the opportunity for local suppliers to secure or participate in public contracts. Improved engagement with local businesses and enhanced supplier development initiatives are being progressed to support these objectives.
Hydrogen Strategy The rapid reduction of carbon emissions we need to make will involve adoption of new and innovative technologies in addition to other measures. The Moray Hydrogen Strategy sets out how the development of a green hydrogen economy in Moray could support the transition away from burning fossil fuels and create quality local jobs.
The Council recognises its duty to protect and enhance biodiversity. Examples of projects aiming to enhance biodiversity include the creation of living lawns and wildflower meadows, plans for renewed management of valuable nature sites and to investigate carbon offsetting through new, biodiverse, woodland creation.
The Moray Local Development Plan 2020 (MLDP 2020) includes a biodiversity policy which requires developers to support biodiversity. The Scottish Government’s draft National Planning Framework 4 aims to place nature and climate at the heart of decision making.
Massive investment in flood alleviation has been made by the council since 2014. This has already prevented damage from flooding and will continue to do so as extreme weather events increase as a result of climate change.
Supplementary guidance for developers within the MLDP 2020 restricts development on land which is at significant risk of flooding, including that by erosion and sea level rise in coastal areas. The policy requires sustainable management of surface water to be built in to new developments, enhancing biodiversity and carbon sequestration as well as mitigating flood risk.
Climate Change Strategy Officer
The Moray Council
Council Office, High Street