DELIVERY of the Millport Flood Protection Scheme will form part of North Ayrshire Council’s ambitious plan to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2030.

The proposals, which also include more electric vehicle charging hubs, were set out to councillors at a recent meeting of cabinet.

The council’s Environmental Sustainability and Climate Change Strategy for 2021-2023 was unanimously approved by councillors.

Since 2005, North Ayrshire Council has reduced its carbon emissions by 45 per cent through a series of initiatives and a change of culture.

Council leaders aim to be one of the first authorities to reach net-zero carbon emissions within the next decade.

Following local consultation with residents, community groups and businesses, the council has outlined seven key areas where changes can be made to meet the ambitious target.

These are affordable warmth, green economy, transport and travel, natural environment, sustainable operations, emissions absorption and climate change adaptation.

The approved plans to tackle the ambitious net-zero target include ramping up the installation of solar panels in domestic properties, which are already in 290 council houses across the authority.

A number of electric vehicle charging hubs will also be created, as well as planting more than 100,000 trees across the region to offset the area’s carbon footprint.

The delivery of flood protection schemes in Millport and the Garnock Valley will also contribute to the target.

Largs councillor Alex Gallagher, who sits on the ruling Labour cabinet, says the Millport scheme will protect the town as climate change continues to impact.

He said: “The target we have set for 2030 is certainly ambitious and is ahead of most government bodies and other local councils.

“We intend to stick to that target, unless we can accelerate it over the coming years.

“The flood scheme is designed to protect the town from the effects of climate change, rising sea levels and freak flooding events which are happening more frequently.

“What we are trying to do with the strategy is mitigate that risk so that future flooding and sea levels won’t be as bad as predicted."

Councillor Jim Montgomerie, cabinet member for green new deal and sustainability, added: “The climate emergency is a very real threat and here in North Ayrshire we have a real chance to lead from the front and set the agenda.

“We’ve made our position clear and have set ourselves an ambitious target of having net-zero carbon emissions by 2030.

“This latest strategy sets out our goals and vision and we will be absolutely focused on achieving these over the next few years.”