The Highland Council is showcasing a variety of low carbon transport options ahead of the crucial Cop26 climate change summit in Glasgow next month.

‘Low Carbon Day’ will see a demonstration of hydrogen vehicles featured at the Inverness Campus business park on Friday including a bus, a roadsweeper, a bin lorry, a van and cars. 

The event is being organised by HITRANS, the regional transport partnership for the Highlands and Islands, as well as The Highland Council, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, NHS Highland, Inverness College UHI, Highlands & Islands Student Association (HISA), and other local partners. 

Also on show will be e-bikes – including e-cargo bikes – electric cars, Car Club electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrids. Student activities organised by HISA will take place all afternoon. Hi-Bike, a new e-bike share scheme developed by HITRANS, will also be promoted.  

Councillor Margaret Davidson, leader of the Highland Council, said: “There is no escaping the conclusion that low carbon transport is the future if we are to have any hope of getting to net zero, and it’s fantastic to see so many of these options being showcased at this event. The council is fully committed to decarbonising its light commercial fleet by 2025, and we are working across the public and private sector to support the emerging hydrogen economy in Highland, which will play a crucial role in achieving local and national net zero targets.”

She added: “The council will be participating in a number of transport themed events at Cop26, including sessions on the role that shared vehicle options like car clubs will play in reducing emissions, and the role of green hydrogen in decarbonising heavy transport. There is a clear willingness to partner and collaborate coming through ahead of Cop26, and we intend to use the opportunity the event provides to build new relationships which will expedite our shift to zero carbon transport.”

Allan Henderson, HITRANS chairman and Highland Councillor, said: “HITRANS is delighted to be involved in the Stagecoach/Caetano hydrogen bus demonstrator bus  project after an approach from Protium Energy. In funding the hydrogen supply from Element2 we are showing that the Highlands and Islands  are  willing and able play a key part in the development of Scotland’s hydrogen economy. With its abundance of renewable resources,  our region can punch above its weight and go beyond net zero. With transport responsible for 37 per cent of Greenhouse HG emissions in Scotland, we are all going to have to shift towards more environmentally-friendly, low carbon transport.”

Georgina Parker, assistant principal operations and external relations at Inverness College University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI), said: “As a large employer and education and training provider, we are very aware of the role we play in developing sustainable behaviours and tackling climate change. We’re delighted to be working with our partners, including HISA, to raise awareness of low carbon travel, particularly cycle to work/study through the promotion of safe travel routes, bike maintenance workshops and the e-bikes on campus.

“We have signed up to Race to Zero, which commits Inverness College UHI to reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040 and we’ve started work on a new strategy involving staff, students and partners to help us achieve that.”