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Also in the news / Greta Thunberg on Cambo oil field, NHS supply chain unaffected, appeal for household items, community spirit awards

CLIMATE campaigner Greta Thunberg says the debate over the controversial new Cambo oil field to the west of Shetland emphasises how far the world has to go in reducing emissions from fossil fuels.

Just over two months before Glasgow hosts the long-awaited COP26 summit, the Swedish activist has told BBC Scotland she does not regard the country as a world leader on climate change.

The SNP administration has a target of reaching “net zero” emissions by 2045 and has previously claimed its climate change legislation to be “world leading”, while it has just reached agreement to bring the Scottish Greens into government.

But Thunberg said it would take more than voting for a green party – and used the ongoing dispute over Cambo to highlight where she feels many Western countries are continuing to go wrong.

“I think that maybe summarises the whole situation that we are in, the fact that these kinds of countries that are actually hosting COP are planning to actually expand fossil fuel infrastructure, to actually open up new oil fields and so on,” she said.

Thunberg added: “But also, it’s a bit strange that we are talking about single individual oil fields when the UK is already producing so much oil as it is. It’s not just that we need to stop future expansions, we also need to scale down the existing ones if we are to have a change of avoiding the worst consequences.”

NHS Shetland says it has so far been unaffected by a shortage of key equipment and components that has resulted in a scaling back of blood tests in parts of the English health service.

The issue elsewhere stems from problems with the global supply chain, but the local health board told Shetland News there were no plans to cease non-urgent testing at present.

NHS Shetland laboratory manager Sam Willis said that NHS Scotland’s national procurement service was managing the issue and daily meetings were being held to discuss the matter.

“No testing is being paused or halted currently and we are continuing to work on local guidelines which are aimed at managing stock and minimising wastage,” Willis added.

SHETLAND Islands Council’s throughcare and aftercare service is offering to find a new home for household and kitchen items folk may have “hiding away in cupboards” that they are keen to get rid of.

The service ran a similar donation appeal in 201 and senior social care worker Shirley Brown said folk had been “tremendously generous” with hundreds of items “gratefully ‘recycled’ to appreciative new homes”.

“Many young people are on an extremely slim budget, and have problems buying or replacing basic kitchen and household equipment,” she said. “We’re looking for everything from pots and pans to furniture and electrical goods. They’d need to be clean and in working condition, but really anything could be useful.”

Donors are asked to contact the service, based at the old Anderson High School at Lerwick’s Lovers Loan, first to check on items’ suitability as storage space is limited. The service can be contacted on (01595) 745248.

VOLUNTARY Action Shetland (VAS) says it has received a “very positive reaction” after launching its second Shetland Community Spirit Awards last week.

The awards are designed to recognise and celebrate volunteering during the past year of the Covid-19 recovery and beyond.

Nominations have been received all the way from Fetlar to Walls with a variety of groups, organisations and local shops and individuals being put forward.

VAS executive officer Lynn Tulloch said: “Last year’s awards was such a success and we felt that given the challenge of supporting recovery post Covid that it would be a great thing to do for a second year.

“The last 18 months has been so hard for everyone, and many have been supporting others in the community throughout this time in a whole range of ways.”

The closing date for nominations is Monday (6 September) and they can be sent via email, along with a reason for nominating and a contact name and email or postal address for the person, group or local shop in question, to vasvolunteering@shetland.org.