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Northern Ireland's remote island plans to be carbon neutral by 2030

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Rathlin Island is an island and civil parish off the coast of County Antrim in Northern Ireland.
Rathlin Island is an island and civil parish off the coast of County Antrim in Northern Ireland.   -   Copyright  Canva
By Euronews with AP

Northern Ireland's remote Rathlin Island has pledged to become carbon neutral by the end of the decade.

The island lies nine kilometres off the coast of Northern Ireland and has only been connected to the electricity grid since 2007.

About 150 people live on the island and they aim to produce their own wind and wave energy before 2030. They are hoping to demonstrate that carbon neutrality can be achieved quickly.

"There's great possibilities now with hydrogen-fuelled ferries and we can produce hydrogen on Rathlin," said Michael Cecil, chairman of Rathlin's development and community association.

"That achieves two goals. It reduces our carbon footprint hopefully to zero, but it also gives us some security that we're generating our own energy and retailing our own energy."

The islanders believe that if carbon neutrality can be achieved at this remote location, then it can be achieved anywhere, and well ahead of targets set in both the UK and Ireland.

Underwater farmer Kate Burns is very conscious of climate change. She cultivates kelp in the biodiverse waters off Rathlin.

"It's not something away in the distance. It's actually something very scary and it's here and it's now. It's the biggest issue of our lifetime," she says.

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