Climate change and sustainability

The Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 requires us to act sustainably, contribute to carbon emissions reduction targets and to climate change adaptation. We are expected, along with all Scottish public bodies, to lead by example in combating climate change and making a valuable contribution towards achieving our emissions reduction targets. Aberdeenshire Council has a target of 75% by 2030 and Net Zero by 2045 from the 2010/11 baseline year.

On this page you can find out more about what we do to tackle climate change:

All of our annual Public Bodies Climate Change Duties Reports since 2014/15 are available to view.

Carbon budget

Chart with annual progress towards 2030 target

As part of the council's commitment to climate change mitigation, we set our first carbon budget for 2017/18. We are the first local authority in Scotland to implement such a budget. This approach is to make sure that we are placing as much focus on our carbon footprint as we do on our financial budgets.

An annual carbon budget figure is set each year to keep the council on track for its commitment to reduce emissions by 75% by 2030 and Net Zero by 2045 using 2010/11 as a baseline year. Management of the necessary annual reduction in emissions is the responsibility of the Senior Leadership Team with support from key services and the Sustainability Team.

The carbon budget is set in February each year at the same time as the financial budget and is monitored throughout the year by the Sustainability Committee:

Annual progress towards 2030 target

Financial year Emissions (tCO2e) Target required
2010/11 86,155 86,155
2011/12  78,400 82,924
2012/13 82,782 79,693
2013/14 77,265  76,462
2014/15 81,805 73,231
2015/16 79,537 70,000
2016/17 73,587 66,769 
2017/18 66,802 63,538
2018/19 57,970 60,307
2019/20 55,687 57,076
2020/21 45,282 53,845
2021/22 49,304 50,614
2022/23 46,335 47,383
2023/24 Determined in November 2024 44,152
2024/25 Determined in November 2025 40,921
2025/26 Determined in November 2026 37,690
2026/27 Determined in November 2027 34,459
2027/28 Determined in November 2028 31,228
2028/29 Determined in November 2029 27,997
2029/30 Determined in November 2030 24,766
2030/31 Determined in November 2031 21,539

Route map to 2030 and beyond

The route map to 2030 and beyond (PDF 1.19MB) covers an introduction with key activities and targets driving its development. This is followed by recommendations and a transformation map which highlight actions and timelines to support the progress and success of the route map. The report also contains future carbon budgets which have been designed using a carbon budget toolkit developed alongside the route map.

The route map to 2030 and beyond action plan (PDF 216KB) was approved in February 2024.

Climate change adaptation

Scotland is already experiencing the effects of climate change, and climate projections for the next century indicate that the climate trends observed over the last century will not only continue but are likely to intensify.

Adapting to climate change will be necessary regardless of how much we manage to cut our emissions, as historic emissions have already changed our climate and will continue to do so in decades to come.

The Scottish Climate Change Adaptation Programme (SCCAP) launched in 2019 will help us prepare for the impact of climate change. To help deliver this, the Council has assessed Aberdeenshire’s vulnerability to climate change and how to improve for future weather events, through completion of the 2011 to 2018 Local Climate Impact Profile (LCLIP) (PDF 9.9MB). This has led to the creation of Climate Ready Aberdeenshire, a voluntary cross-sector network to create and coordinate Aberdeenshire’s climate change adaptation and mitigation strategy.

In 2023, the council completed the 2019 - 2022 Local Climate Impact Profile (LCLIP) (PDF 1.91MB) to raise awareness of the impact of extreme weather events to the council’s services, and the need to adapt and build resilience to these. This was a key activity of the route map to 2030 and beyond and was used to develop the council’s climate change risk register.

Climate change declaration

We recognise that the world faces a climate challenge and our responsibility is to provide leadership in order to move to a more sustainable and low carbon future.

View the climate change declaration (PDF 71KB).

Resources and circular economy commitment

The Resources and Circular Economy Commitment (PDF 110KB) has been developed to provide us direction, as we move towards greater sustainability and responsibility in the way we consider, purchase and manage physical resources, and towards supporting a more circular economy.


Aberdeenshire Council is part of the North East of Scotland Transport Partnership (Nestrans), which develops and delivers long-term regional transport strategy. We also deliver a range of strategies, projects and support relating to transportation and sustainability. Further details can be found through our Transportation web page.

Biodiversity and natural heritage

We deliver a range of strategies, projects and support relating to biodiversity and natural heritage. Further details can be found through our Natural Heritage web page.

You can also find out about our greenspace project, which aims to provide a new approach to the creation and care of greenspaces through local community involvement.


Example procurement questions (PDF 118KB) have been developed to support the consideration of sustainability and climate change issues by potential bidders for council contracts.

Contact us

For further information, please contact the Sustainability and Climate Change Team by emailing