Refreshed and Recharged Climate Fife Strategy and Action Plan Approved for Fife

23rd January 2024

Fife Council takes bold steps, and pledges to go further and faster, to increase climate resilience and tackle the climate emergency.

In another significant move toward a greener future, Fife Council Cabinet members have approved a refreshed Climate Fife 2024 Strategy and Action Plan, aimed at bolstering the region's climate resilience and rising to the climate challenge. The plan, charting progress to the changing climate and the next steps in Fife Council's mission, was approved at Cabinet Committee on January 11, 2024.

Fife Council has already made substantial progress, having reduced its carbon footprint by almost half since 2014/15 through a series initiatives. The updated plan confirms Fife Council's commitment to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2045 and adapting to the challenges posed by a changing climate.

The refreshed plan also builds on the council’s leadership in supporting organisations and people across the region to reduce their carbon emissions. Helping communities to be resilient to the impacts of unavoidable climate change are an increasing part of the council’s overall climate response.

Climate Fife 2024 comprises three 'Big Moves' - areas where transformations must be made over the next four years:
• Energy – transforming the energy system to low carbon.
• Resilience – protecting Fife from the unavoidable impacts of climate change and biodiversity loss.
• Community – empowering communities to transform food, waste, transport, and energy generation systems to create community wealth and wellbeing.

Cllr Jan Wincott, Fife Council Spokesperson for Environment and Climate Change, said: "Our focus is on embracing the opportunities climate action can bring and taking Fife into a future that is climate friendly, climate ready, and climate just. Fife Council is committed to driving change across the region to tackle the climate emergency.

"We also seek to improve life-quality for everyone by maximising opportunities for a greener economy and supporting people during the cost-of-living crisis. Energy efficient homes, local food, reducing waste and low carbon public transport can all contribute to keeping household bills low and support healthy living.

"We are committed to supporting and leading all of Fife to tackle the emergency. But the council cannot do this alone - only by working together can we tackle both our impact on the climate and the changing climate’s impact on us.

“There are significant challenges ahead, and some are already with us now, such as the impacts of increased storms and intensity of rainfall impacting travel. Our partnerships with other public sector organisations, local businesses and our communities are crucial to meeting our ambitions."

Climate Fife’s vision is that by 2045 the region will be climate friendly, climate ready and climate just. Climate Fife includes an Action Plan, set to deliver across six themes:

  • Buildings
  • Low Carbon Energy
  • Zero Waste
  • Transport and Travel
  • Nature and Land
  • Protecting and Supporting our Communities

    Each theme has actions affirming council commitments and includes a “Looking to the future” section, highlighting where partnership working is critical.

Building a Sustainable Future
Fife Council's initiatives include the construction of the Dunfermline Learning Campus. The low -carbon, environmentally-friendly £180 million super campus, which will be shared with Fife College, is a very high standard of energy efficiency. The new building housing the schools will be the largest Passivhaus construction in Europe. Video on the Dunfermline Learning Campus

The council is also building 750 new affordable houses per annum to the Silver Plus Standard. Other actions include prioritising low carbon and active travel, and supporting communities to mitigate climate change impacts.

Infrastructure improvements include active travel routes, park and ride schemes and the Levenmouth Rail Link, as well as supporting behavioural change. There will be new walking cycling, wheeling infrastructure, including the new Levenmouth connectivity programme.

Efforts to reduce, reuse, and recycle waste continue, and there will be an increased focus on promoting recycling and establishing new reuse hubs across Fife.

Supporting Communities and Businesses
A 'climate resilient homes' grant scheme is being established to aid home improvements against climate change impacts.

Fife Council is expanding flood mitigation and road drainage efforts to minimise disruptions due to flooding. The council remains dedicated to supporting businesses in their transition to Net Zero and fostering green jobs. This involves working with regional partners, as well as linking colleges and universities to develop a regional Net Zero Accelerator Hub to develop the skills needed locally and explore economic opportunities arising from the Forth Green Freeport.

The council is also committed to enhancing biodiversity and creating seven Biodiversity Neighbourhoods across Fife.

Growing and distributing food locally supports resilience and by creating local systems that grow and distribute food locally, this will enable businesses and communities to work together.

Looking Forward
Fife Council's refreshed Climate Fife 2024 Strategy and Action Plan outlines a renewed commitment to a sustainable future. By collaborating with communities, businesses, and public sector partners, Fife Council aims to create a resilient, climate-friendly region that can thrive by responding to and reducing the challenges posed by climate change.

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