On 17 May 2022 Rural Affairs and Islands Secretary Mairi Gougeon announced that Cumbrae has been selected to be part of the Carbon Neutral Islands project. Along with Hoy, Islay, Raasay, Barra and Yell, the Scottish government has committed to supporting Cumbrae to become carbon neutral by 2040.
The six islands were select by the Scottish government in collaboration with local authorities and island representatives. A report on the project will be published in the summer and plans will be developed in collaboration with key partners and local communities. The project will align with a Scotland-wide net zero initiative and contribute to the Scottish government’s 2045 net zero commitment. It will also share lessons learned with other Scottish islands.
Mairi Gougeon said: “Scotland is at the forefront of climate change mitigation and adaptation at the global level, and I’ve always believed that our islands will contribute significantly to the country’s net zero commitment. I was pleased to announce at COP26 that we are taking this ambition further than the original commitment, now aiming to support six islands in their journey towards carbon neutrality by 2040. This project is another testament to Scottish islands being in the vanguard of innovation, leading the way in the journey to net zero while supporting other areas across Scotland.”
John McHenery, Deputy Chair of Cumbrae Community Council (CCC) said: "CCC is proud that our island has been selected as the North Ayrshire representative in this national project. We look forward to working with the other islands and taking it forward within the Cumbrae development plan. Once initial audits, assessments and consultations are complete we will be better placed with the people of the island to plan the way forward to achieve carbon neutrality appropriate for Cumbrae."