Six Scottish islands have been chosen to partake in a project which would see them aim to become carbon neutral by 2040.

Hoy, Islay, Great Cumbrae, Raasay, Barra and Yell have been identified by the Scottish government in collaboration with local authorities and island representative for the Carbon Neutral Islands project.

Announcing the six islands during a debate in Parliament, Rural Affairs and Islands Secretary 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.”

A report on the project will be published over the summer and plans will be developed for individual islands in collaboration with key partners and the communities involved.

New national park in Scotland

In other Scottish news, a consultation on the creation of Scotland’s first new National Parks in almost 20 years has been launched.

The Scottish government has committed to establishing at least one new National Park by the end of this Parliamentary session in 2026.

The public consultation is looking at what people value about Scottish National Parks, and what these areas should deliver in future – in particular, how they can help to protect and restore nature, tackle climate change and promote sustainable land use.