Sat 8 Jun, 2019

Orkney is well-placed to lead Scotland in showing how a carbon-neutral economy can be won from the Green opportunities of the future. Steve Sankey OIC councillor

Orkney Islands Council (OIC) councillor and Orkney Greens Co-convenor, Steve Sankey, welcomed OIC’s declaration of a Climate Change Emergency made at its General Council meeting on Tuesday 14 May 2019. Speaking after the historic Council Meeting Steve said:

“Orkney is well-placed to lead Scotland in showing how a carbon-neutral economy can be won from the Green opportunities of the future. In Orkney we have wind and tidal assets that can underpin other changes that we will need to make in our more traditional sectors of the economy in the immediate years ahead. A new Green Deal is required, with capital investment in transport such as Green ferries and buses, and employment opportunities in renewables and green tourism. A Clean and Green Orkney should show Scotland the way ahead.”

OIC has committed to building on its current commitment in its Council Plan for a ‘vibrant carbon neutral economy which supports local businesses’. It has also pledged to work with partners to identify and implement actions our community can take to contribute to carbon reduction. Steve added:

“I’d like to thank lots of people in Orkney that have made this declaration possible. Everything progressed from the Climate Change Strike in March at Kirkwall Grammar School that Rachel Evans organised, and about 350 pupils attended. Then Extinction Rebellion Orkney held a series of events and meetings to raise the profile of the issue. I’d like to pay particular tribute to the Council Leader, Councillor James Stockan, who shares our vision that Clean and Green means investment, jobs, and a future for our children. Moreover, we’d like to continue this involvement of people, and propose a Citizen’s Assembly on Climate Change as a way to involve our communities in this issue in the immediate months and years ahead.”

Orkney Greens’ other Co-convenor, Helen Woodsford-Dean, emphasised the importance of supporting Green initiatives both locally and internationally:

“In two short years, Steve has worked tirelessly with his colleagues in the Scottish Parliament, and his fellow councillors to secure £7.7 million for Orkney through Green budgetary negotiations with the Scottish Government. In Orkney he has pushed for the adoption of the UN’s Principles of Responsible Investment with both OIC’s Investment and Pension Committees, and has now helped with the Climate Change Emergency Declaration."

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