Our key priority is to make Orkney net-zero by 2030 and maximise benefit from the opportunities this will provide. Moreover, we will ensure that communities are at the heart of the transition to net-zero. This net-zero goal must be the central driving force of the next council administration. The transition to net-zero is exciting, and positive change can happen in many areas from transport to housing. This will make the Orkney economy stronger, greener, and more prosperous by 2030 with new opportunities and benefits at every level in our communities. From tackling fuel poverty and transport emissions, to combating the problem of waste and developing a circular economy, the scale of the challenge is large. But by drawing on the world-leading experience and knowledge within Orkney, and working together, we can do it.

We will:

  • Establish an Orkney Islands Council net-zero team to manage the huge volume of coordination and planning across all services that the transition to net-zero will involve.

  • Suggest a multi-agency ‘Orkney Net-Zero Working Group’ to work together with partners like the Island centre for Net-Zero and communities through a much needed ‘Net-Zero 2030’ Strategy.

  • Support the Scapa Deep Water Quay subject to the removal of the LNG proposals.

  • Support phase II of the Harbours Masterplan adding infrastructure which is long overdue for North Isles piers.


Orkney Islands Council has very limited influence over the agriculture sector with most policies being the responsibility of the Scottish Government. However, this sector is critically important to the Orkney economy, and we want to support it to reduce carbon emissions and lead the way nationally within the sector. We believe that Orkney Islands Council can take more of a leadership role supporting sustainable farming methods and promoting local produce to grow a circular economy. Farmers need to be supported towards transition to more sustainable and less carbon intensive methods.

We will:

  • Advocate practical prescriptions within Orkney to reduce the carbon footprint of agriculture such as the greater use of clovers as natural fertilisers, no till methods when appropriate, and use of additives to livestock food to reduce methane emissions.

  • Support the agronomy institute to grow and develop sustainable farming methods specific to Orkney as well as their work in establishing vertical farming as part of the current Islands Deal.

  • Maximise local produce consumed in Orkney to develop local supply chains and create a circular economy. This will reduce food miles, stimulate local businesses, and improve access to high-quality locally grown food.

  • Instigate regular meetings between the agricultural sector and key Councillors and officials to track progress on developing a local circular economy, and appoint a Councillor to spearhead this goal.

  • Review the provision of mobile abattoir facilities in Orkney.


Biodiversity losses in Orkney, like the rest of Scotland, have been staggering. Not so long-ago Orkney held more seabirds than any other county in the UK. In the last few decades, we have lost 90% of our kittiwakes and Arctic terns, such that a fraction of these and other species remain. Despite this, Orkney Islands Council is currently opposed to the designation of Special Protection Areas for our seabirds. In 2010 stoats arrived in Orkney and have since posed considerable threats to our native Orkney vole and breeding wader populations, whilst our wildflower and wetland habitats have become reduced to fringe areas around farmland and coasts.

We will:

  • Manage our marine areas sustainably, support the Regional Marine Plan for Orkney waters and ensure that the Orkney’s Special Protection Areas are designated quickly.

  • Establish wildflower verges and spaces to save money, create wildlife corridors, and add habitat, colour and invertebrates to our local areas.

  • Support the Orkney Native Wildlife Project to ensure that it succeeds in its aims of eradicating stoats from Orkney through working with communities.

  • Review the Orkney Local Biodiversity Action Plan to ensure recovery of key habitats and species including national rarities such as the great-yellow bumblebee.