Net Zero and Climate Change

Our commitment

“Our world is heating up, ice is melting, seas are warming, and our climate is becoming less stable with disastrous consequences…collectively, it is a story that we have authored and, looking forward, together we need to write a better future, one which is fair to future generations and to the planet they inhabit.”

Our Climate Change Route Map for the Scottish Borders June 2021

We declared a climate emergency in September 2020, which was followed up with the development of a Climate Change Route Map in June 2021. Priority actions to deliver on the Route Map were identified and subsequently approved in March 2022. 

Noting the inextricable relationship between the Climate Change and Nature emergencies, Scottish Borders Council signed the Edinburgh Declaration on post-2020 global biodiversity framework on 17 December 2021. We are also responsible for preparing a Local Biodiversity Action plan - a framework to protect and enhance biodiversity in the Scottish Borders.  The current plan runs from 2018-2028.

A path to Net Zero

The Climate Change Route Map aims to set the Scottish Borders on a path to Net Zero by 2045, in which the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced do not exceed what is absorbed naturally or through technology.

This commitment was further underlined in the new Council Plan for 2023/24.

Scotland has set a national legally binding net zero target by 2045 and public bodies, including ourselves, are legally bound to contribute to the delivery of:

  • a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions;
  • programmes so that communities are resilient and adapt to a changing climate; and
  • to act sustainably in the delivery of services.

It is important that no one is left behind on the journey to Net Zero and that inequalities are not widened further during the transition.  The transition need to be a just transition as set out by the Scottish Just Transition Commission.