It’s a Global Issue

polar bear sttranded on an ice flow

The global issue that should be at the top of everyone’s agenda is climate change.

‘A secure, sustainable, low carbon island economy driven uniquely by innovation and collaboration: enabling the community to achieve ambitious carbon reduction targets, address fuel poverty and provide energy system solutions to the world.’

That vision from 2017’s Orkney Sustainable Energy Strategy is still some way off. UK policies and regulations are barriers to progress.

Orkney declared a climate emergency in 2019, but arguably the pandemic stalled progress on projects and the momentum that we lost needs to be regained.

The Orkney Partnership’s recent draft vision for a climate resilient and Net Zero future urgently needs an action plan and ownership of targets to promote positive collaboration across all sectors of the local economy.

I am supportive of the moves towards a community wealth building model for Orkney, aimed at promoting a wellbeing economy that supports just transition principles for Orkney. The SNP Scottish Government is already embarked on this path.

Having studied energy and environmental issues over the past 17 years – I am currently working towards an environmental management and assessment qualification – I understand the scale of work that needs to be done.

For that reason, I am determined to win adequate resources to allow Orkney and Shetland to demonstrate how they are contributing to Scotland’s ambitious net zero targets, which need to be met by 2045, with the UK target of 2050.

This includes how our agricultural land and the seas around us hold carbon, and to allow our farming industry to be funded at a level that recognises it is part of a Scotland that punches above its weight in delivering for food security, climate change and biodiversity. This requires a review at a UK level, as well as a pledge of increased, ring-fenced, and multi-annual funding from the UK, from 2025-29.

We also need to secure political backing to ensure that our islands can progress projects to reduce our carbon-heavy transport sector, and if elected I will make this a priority.

Business as usual is no longer an option. Orkney and Shetland require higher levels of funding to allow their contributions to be accelerated.

If I am Orkney and Shetland’s next MP, I will be in an SNP team demanding the devolution of new borrowing powers to invest in a just transition for all of Scotland – not least my home islands.

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SNP Orkney

Author: SNP Orkney

I administer and maintain the official website of the SNP Orkney branch.

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