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 Scotland's 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:

View our 2018/19 climate change duties summary report (pdf 324KB). You can also view detailed reports from previous years or our summary reports from previous years.

Carbon budget

Chart with annual progress towards 2030 targetAs 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 86155 86155
2011/12  78400 82754
2012/13 82782 79353
2013/14 77265  75952
2014/15 81805 72551
2015/16 79537 69150
2016/17 73587 65749 
2017/18 68352 62348
2018/19 57992 58947
2019/20 55752 55546
2020/21 Determined in November 2021 52145
2021/22 Determined in November 2022 48744
2022/23 Determined in November 2023 45343
2023/24 Determined in November 2024 41942
2024/25 Determined in November 2025 38541
2025/26 Determined in November 2026 35140
2026/27 Determined in November 2027 31739
2027/28 Determined in November 2028 28338
2028/29 Determined in November 2029 24937
2029/30 Determined in November 2030 21536

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 shared vision, strategy and action plan for Aberdeenshire to adapt to the impact of climate change.

Environmental and climate change policy

The environmental and climate change policy sets out ways in which the council fulfils its commitment to sustainable development and safeguarding the environment, as well as meeting statutory responsibilities laid out in legislation.

The policy was approved by the Policy and Resources Committee in November 2016. The policy was reaffirmed by the Chief Executive and Council Leader in February 2018. It commits the council to leading by example in reducing the impact that its services and functions have on the environment and climate change. This means reducing our greenhouse gases emitted in the provision of services, conserving our natural resources and enhancing the region’s biodiversity to improve the health and well-being of Aberdeenshire residents.

View the Environmental and Climate Change Policy.

Resources and circular economy commitment

The Resources and Circular Economy Commitment (pdf 375KB) 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.


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