TARGETS to ensure Clackmannanshire as a whole goes net zero by 2045 have been set by councillors last week.

At last Thursday's, August 11, meeting, elected representatives agreed to set a target for the council's own operations to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040 at the latest, and for the Wee County to do the same by 2045.

As part of the move, the local authority will be establishing an internal Climate Emergency Board while community-focused climate change forums will also be created to engage with communities.

The board will publish a climate emergency action plan to ensure that cost-saving and resource efficiency initiatives are exploited while also making the council investment-ready to secure additional funding to deliver against climate targets, creating high-value green jobs, the paper tabled on the day explained.

Part of the council's targets set out in legislation, there should be zero direct emissions from all estate buildings by 2038, all new fleet cars and light vehicles must have zero emissions by 2025 and larger new vehicles by 2030 and no biodegradable waste can go to landfill by the end of 2025.

It was also noted that given the ongoing cost of living crisis, including significant increases in energy and petrol prices, “harnessing the poverty-alleviation potential of decarbonisation is increasingly pertinent”.

Moving the paper on the day, spokesperson for environment and net zero Cllr Fiona Law said: “The strategy and targets put forward are not a tick box exercise, it sets out the strategy that will allow us to take meaningful action to protect our communities from climate change and further destruction to our environment.”

She added: “The council cannot do this alone and we need everyone in Clackmannanshire to do their part.

“The climate change forums will be community based and will deliver across council wards.

“They will include our young people; we want and need the knowledge, experience and drive from everyone to create together a strategy that will work for communities so that we can create our circular economy, increase our biodiversity and reach our targets for net zero.”

In closing, she hoped for support from everyone not just in the Kilncraigs chamber but from across the Wee County.

Council leader Ellen Forson, who last year brought a motion in front of colleagues to declare a climate emergency in Clackmannanshire, said: “There's no doubt that the journey ahead is going to be challenging, but we must meet our net zero aspirations to avoid catastrophic climate changes which are predicted.

“As Cllr Law pointed out, we've already seen some of the highest temperatures recorded in this country and at other times we'll see significant flooding, etc.

“They are, indeed, the result of the climate change.”

The meeting was held as another heatwave swept across the UK and much of Europe while temperatures in Scotland reached a record high of 35.1C in Kelso last month.

“This is going to require significant shift in behaviour from all of us and the willingness to accept that we must do things differently,” Cllr Forson added.

As part of the activities going forward, five climate change forums are being established across Clackmannanshire to provide a space for dialogue.

The forums will be a space for dialogue between businesses, young people, residents and the council.

The local authority explained that despite a wide range of emission reduction projects, it is crucial to gather bright, innovative and creative ideas to progress toward net zero greenhouse gas emissions in the area.

People are therefore being urged to contact the local authority with any suggestions and ideas that could contribute to reaching net zero targets or to register an interest in getting involved with the climate change forums, which are being set up across ward areas.

Those interested can email for more details.