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Climate / Net zero open day event held simultaneously in Lerwick, Stromness and Stornoway

A FIRST open day event was hosted by the Islands Centre for Net Zero (ICNZ) yesterday (Thursday) afternoon to showcase the project and discuss the potential of decarbonisation for the islands, writes Erin Rizzato Devlin.

Funded through the multi-million pound Islands Deal, the project aims to promote opportunities for cutting greenhouse gas emissions across Shetland, Orkney and the Western Isles, while taking into account what matters to local people and environments.

The event was held in Islesburgh Community Centre in a hybrid format with a live connection with the other two locations which simultaneously were hosting their events.

The introductory remarks were given by Claire Ferguson, team leader of the climate change strategy for Shetland Islands Council, along with other members of the ICNZ in Stromness and Stornoway.

The discussion continued by referring to issues such as fuel poverty and the decarbonisation of local buildings through fairer district heating schemes, opportunities to make Shetland’s marine industry more sustainable through more efficient marine vessels or biofuels, and making local businesses and enterprises more resilient to future challenges.

The different panels saw the contribution of speakers from various local businesses and UK-wide institutions, including Malakoff, Aquaterra, Scottish Sea Farms, Shetland Fishermen’s Association and Artemis Technologies, amongst others.

These conversations were alternated with breaks filled with plenty of tea, coffee and cakes, allowing members of the wider community to discuss the challenges and potentials of a low carbon future among themselves as well as with the various speakers who were showcasing their projects throughout the afternoon.

The ICNZ will be funded for the coming 10 years, with the aim of setting and achieving its targets by this date.

This open day was an opportunity for members of the centre to introduce the project as it is in its first year of life, and show they are open to collaborations and ideas from Shetland’s community.

More information about the project can be found here.

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