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Climate / Folk invited to join conversation about addressing climate change

PEOPLE are being invited to give their views on how the islands’ journey towards “net zero” carbon should be shaped as Shetland Islands Council hosts a climate conversation workshop this week.

The Shetland Climate Conversation session will take place online via Zoom from 7pm tomorrow (Thursday), with participants invited to come together and find ways to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and adapt infrastructure to tackle the impact of climate change.

Information gained from the workshops will go into creating a “route map” for reaching “net zero” and the development of a Shetland-wide climate change strategy.

A series of workshops are being hosted by Ricardo Environmental Consultants, alongside the SIC and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), thanks to funding from the Scottish Government’s rural communities testing change fund.

SIC climate change strategy team leader Claire Ferguson said it was a great opportunity for folk to “come along and to hear and speak directly about addressing climate change in Shetland”.

“We would love to hear ideas, thoughts, worries and barriers in addressing climate change in Shetland,” she said. “Insights gained will shape the net zero route map and also our climate change strategy.”

She said it was one of a series of 15 workshops that have taken place in recent weeks, with the involvement of community development groups, community councils, community hall associations and islands with small populations.

“The sessions have been incredibly valuable,” Ferguson said. “We’ve heard many interesting insights which are already being used to begin shaping our works.”

Topics for discussion include improving understanding of what the islands’ main sources of greenhouse gas emissions are; what “net zero” means for the islands in terms of heating, travel and waste disposal; how climate change might affect Shetland; what measures can be taken to adapt; identifying people’s main concerns, and what support might be needed to achieve change.

If you want to take part in the online Shetland Climate Conversation Workshop, taking place at 7pm on Thursday (7 April), you can register here.

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