Moray Council embraces Scotland’s Climate Week campaign
Moray Council is supporting Scotland’s Climate Week campaign starting today (Mon 25 September - Sun 1 October).
Training provided to staff and decision-makers about the climate crisis and the council’s response is supporting delivery of the council’s Climate Change Strategy.
To date, 28 staff and six councillors have been trained to become “Carbon Literate” - they've made a substantial commitment to Carbon Literacy within the Council, and further training is being delivered this week.
From today, all staff can access an e-learning module to learn about climate duties and impacts affecting Moray, and what the Council is doing to address them.
The fleet of eight bikes including two electric (e-bikes) are serviced in the pool bike shelter stands at Elgin HQ for short work-related journeys.
Active Travel officers were hosting another ‘Bike Fest’ at the weekend, giving locals a chance to test a big range of bikes, from e-bikes to three-wheelers, take part in a led-ride, and check out cycling events and get details of bike loans and grants that are currently available.
Saturday’s Forres event, which followed previously events in Elgin and Aberlour, was busy with experts giving top DIY tips and biking skills, and several hundred in total attended the Council-organised events, held in partnership with Cycling UK.
The prize-winning Speyside Way competition is another Council climate action success story worth a mention.
Culminating with the end of Scotland’s Climate Week, the aim of the contest steered by Active Travel officers was to log the most journeys, or the most distance covered, by foot or bike, along an upgraded section of the Speyside Way between Craigellachie and Cragganmore.
Stats gathered at the start of the third week of the month-long challenge showed those who signed up had logged 158 journeys and registered 1,645kms.
Ongoing work on a Local Heat and Energy Efficiency Strategy, helping to identify areas where heat networks may provide opportunities to decarbonise heat, is also progressing.
Significant too is the new Moray Climate Action Network (MorayCAN), of which Moray Council is a founding member.
Co-ordinated by Third Sector Interface for Moray (tsiMORAY) and funded by a £234,333 Scottish Government grant, MorayCAN will roll out its programme of meetings and events this autumn.
Operating as a network, it will connect and support a growing and committed group of local organisations that are dedicated to addressing the climate and biodiversity emergency.
It’s hoped these groups will help communities and locals to accelerate climate action in the areas where they live.
Fabio Villani, from the tsiMORAY Leadership Team, said: “One of the key events for people to understand what climate change might mean for us here in Moray is Forres Town Hall’s screening of the Moray Firth Coastal Partnership - Moray Firth and Climate Change documentary.”
The short film being screened on Thursday (28 September) at 6.30pm features officers from Moray Council and representatives from local third sector organisations.
Moray Council’s own Climate Change Champion, Cllr Draeyk van der Horn considers the MorayCAN network to be an important instrument that can help the Council to meet its ambitious plan to become carbon neutral by 2030.
Cllr van der Horn said: “Not only does it represent a partnership that helps focus Moray Council’s own climate change and biodiversity objectives, such as our 2030 net zero target. It also reflects the wider community’s commitment to work together and act on climate and biodiversity crisis, which is dramatically impacting our way of life in Moray.”
Other ongoing council projects focus on raising awareness.
Libraries, including those at Forres and Buckie are laying on themed-events, including a Climate Change Treasure Hunt and Under the Sea project which displays the everyday items that make it into our seas.
Moray schools are also holding climate-themed activities this week, including Speyside High, where senior pupils are holding lunchtime meets in preparation for MockCOP28.
Organised by the The Open University and partners, MockCOP28 aims to mirror Glasgow’s COP 26 UN Climate Change Conference which took place in 2021.
It will bring students from Highland and Moray to Highland Council’s Chamber in Inverness. Speyside High, which has participated in the last two MockCOP events, will this year be representing the USA.
S5 pupil Daisy Mazzacurati-Newman, said: “Scotland’s Climate Week is important because it reminds us of the urgency of this global crisis. It refreshes how consuming and present this issue is. It makes me angry. It makes me sad. It makes me want to act.”