EAST Ayrshire Council is continuing to make good progress towards the Scottish Government’s climate change targets.

The Climate Change Public Sector Report 2016/17 was put before cabinet last Wednesday ahead of its submission to the Scottish Government by the end of this month.

With three years still to go before the interim deadline, East Ayrshire Council has achieved a reduction in CO2 emissions of 38.8 per cent since 2005.

Last year, the councils emissions were reduced by five per cent, more than double their annual target.

This was largely reached by a 10 per cent reduction in emissions from electricity, gas and water usage.

However, fuel usage by the council went up resulting in an increase of almost 15 per cent in CO2 emissions from fuel usage.

Magnust Dowie, East Ayrshire Council’s sustainability and building services manager, said: “The Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 places duties on public bodies to ‘act in the way best calculated to the delivery of the targets set in the act’.

“The national targets within the act are 80 per cent carbon reduction by 2050, with an interim target of 42 per cent by 2020, when compared with the 1990 baseline.

“East Ayrshire is committed to playing its part in this national reduction requirement, and reflects these national targets as its own.

“Our Energy Strategy and Carbon Management Programme has been the primary driver to achieve these aims.

“Like other public bodies, we do not actually hold an accurate baseline of 1990 emission output levels since, at that time, the link between carbon emission and climate change was not widely appreciated.

“We can determine however, that the first Carbon Management Plan covering the five year period up to March 31, 2010 resulted in an overall saving of 11.8 per cent, or 2,959 tonnes CO2.

“Since then the council has voluntarily reported carbon emission under the Scottish Climate Change Declaration reporting from 2012/13 to 2014/15, and the mandatory Climate Change Reporting from 2015/16 until present.

“During that period we can demonstrate a further 27 per cent, or 6,119 tonnes CO2, resulting in a total reduction since 2005 of 38.8 per cent, or 9,078 tonnes CO2.”