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Community climate festivals announced

Scottish view

With only a few weeks to go until COP26 comes to Glasgow, there’s a feeling in the air that the tide of climate action might be on cusp of turning. Echoing the First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon’s sentiments that “COP26 will be the world’s best chance, possibly one of our last chances, of limiting global warming to 1.5°C”, this change in tide is very welcome.

During Climate Week last month, the Scottish Government announced details of Scotland’s COP26 community engagement programme, including an exciting new initiative delivered by Keep Scotland Beautiful to support local communities to plan and deliver their own Climate Festivals and events across the country, alongside a national programme of events.

The initiative was launched at an online event by the First Minister who acknowledged the important role communities have to play in raising awareness of climate change and supporting people to make the big changes that will be needed for us to get to net zero, without leaving anyone behind. Our communities’ officer for Home Energy Scotland was pleased to take part in a panel discussion with two communities who’ve previously run inspiring Climate Festivals. The panel provided an excellent opportunity to shout about the depth and breadth of support for communities that we offer.

For those who’re less familiar, the Home Energy Scotland programme is managed at a national level by Energy Saving Trust, but it’s delivered through a network of local organisations, each with a team of outreach specialists who are highly experienced at working with a variety of different organisations and are familiar with the issues and challenges faced by local residents. This is important because it allows us to deliver a national programme with consideration for specific local issues.

We have a wide range of free support and resources available to help community groups develop and run projects that tackle carbon and fuel poverty; from energy saving workshops to project development and funding application support, to in-depth training on topics like electric heating and heat-pumps – find out more about our support and resources for communities. Our local specialists will collaborate with groups to help them work out support they need.

We’re really excited about the co-benefits of climate action which will also help tackle poverty and inequality. working with community groups can be a very effective channel to reaching people who might not be as engaged with climate action. So, we’re looking forward to collaborating with Keep Scotland Beautiful in this new venture and continuing our support for community-led climate action and a just transition to net zero and beyond!

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