Ford: carbon targets undermined by plan

GREEN councillor Martin Ford has said that the environmental targets in Aberdeenshire’s Strategic Development Plan will be undermined by road building projects and delays in carbon-neutral housing requirements.

Cllr Ford, seconded by Independent Cllr Paul Johnston, had attempted secure an amendment which would have postponed approval for the plan until environmental commitments could be clarified and improved upon.

However, after a meeting of the full council, members agreed by majority to endorse the plan without amendment.

Cllr Ford said afterwards: “There is a lot that is good in the Strategic Development Plan. I strongly support many of the Plan’s stated aims and objectives. Unfortunately, some of the Plan’s most important stated goals are undermined by other elements contained within the Plan. It is contradictory. What the Plan says it seeks to deliver and what it is likely to deliver are not the same.

“While a Strategic Development Plan cannot by itself deliver the changes required to make the transition to a sustainable economy and meet the target of a 42% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, the proposed Strategic Development Plan contains elements that work against the Plan’s stated aims on climate change and sustainability.For example, road building projects will account for the vast majority of expenditure on transport, the proposed delay in the requirement for new buildings to be carbon neutral, and the lack of specific targets for reducing carbon emissions.”