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What is Carbon Literacy? What is the Scottish Governments Climate Change Plan?

One of the aims of this project is to improve Carbon Literacy in the community. You may be asking what Carbon Literacy is? Here is the definition from the Carbon Literacy Project based in Manchester:


“An awareness of the carbon dioxide costs and impacts of everyday activities, and the ability and motivation to reduce emissions, on an individual, community and organisational basis.”

Increasing our awareness and knowledge of the climate impacts of our everyday lives means we are much more likely to understand the scale of the problem and to take part in activities and solutions. It also means that when action is taken by our friends, communities, council and government we will understand more about why that action needs to be taken and can support local businesses and politicians who are doing the right thing by the environment.


As a project we can offer individuals, community groups, schools, colleges and businesses assistance, support and training in carbon literacy at a level that is appropriate for you. This can be offered online during lockdowns and restrictions and, hopefully later in the year, in person. If this sounds like something you might be interested in please contact liz@penicuikcarbonchallenge.org


In Scotland we are fortunate to live in a world leading country when it comes to taking action on Climate Change. Scotland has already reduced its carbon emissions by around 50% on 1990 levels. The interim target for emissions reductions set by the Scottish government was 56%, it is not yet clear if that target was reached or not as data from 2020 is still to be published. The major issue we face is that the majority (around 2/3) of our emissions reductions so far have been achieved from the decarbonisation of electricity generation. This is a relatively easy win in Scotland with its huge potential for renewable energy. The next 50% will certainly be harder to achieve. Source: https://www.theccc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Reducing-emissions-in-Scotland-Progress-Report-to-Parliament-FINAL.pdf


Just before Christmas the Scottish Government released its Climate Change Plan update. The update was based on the previous plan published in 2018. It is a really important document that lays out our climate change commitments and how we are going to achieve them. You can download the plan in full here: https://www.gov.scot/publications/securing-green-recovery-path-net-zero-update-climate-change-plan-20182032/


The update has over 100 new policies and proposals and aims to show how we will reach our ambitious Climate Change Emissions targets of NET zero emissions by 2045 and a 75% reduction on 1990 levels by 2030. It also has a strong focus on a green recovery from the Corona virus pandemic. It also puts into law the requirement for a just transition, where opportunities created are accessible to all.


Here are some of the headline new policies and funds that have been included in this update:

  • the launch of a £180 million Emerging Energy Technologies Fund (EETF), that, over the next 5 years, will support the development of Scottish hydrogen and Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) industries, and support the development of Negative Emissions Technologies (NETs)

  • additional funding of £120 million for zero emission buses to accelerate the decarbonisation of Scotland’s bus fleet and support the Scottish supply chain.

  • £50 million to support the creation of Active Freeways to provide sustainable transport links between our towns and cities

  • £50 million to transform vacant and derelict land, ensuring that this land is utilised for maximum environmental and community benefit.

  • reducing the number of kilometres travelled by car by 20% by 2030 In line with the vision and priorities of our new National Transport Strategy,

  • phasing out the need for new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030, in line with UK Committee on Climate Change advice

  • plan to help create 1 million zero-emission homes by 2030

  • a Waste Routemap to 2030 and beyond, including consulting on a ban on all biodegradable non-municipal waste being sent to landfill, also in line with UK Committee on Climate Change advice

  • nature-based solutions also form a key part of the updated Climate Change Plan. The Scottish Government recently announcing an additional £500 million of investment in our natural economy, with peatland restoration and woodland creation helping to enhance biodiversity and create good, green jobs whilst tackling climate change.

Source: https://www.gov.scot/news/steering-scotlands-pathway-to-net-zero/?fbclid=IwAR3QgcZKnLZa4jOXjiIBFu_H3B4Rn-g9nPpVGjxEZCSOGowVSM5FzGbXx7M


To support the delivery of the plan the Scottish Government have also published a draft public engagement strategy. The previous Climate Change Public Engagement Strategy was published in 2013 and focussed on individual and household incremental changes. The latest strategy is far more wide reaching reflecting the urgency of the change needed. This document is under consultation which means the government are looking for feedback before finalising. You can read it here:

https://www.gov.scot/binaries/content/documents/govscot/publications/consultation-paper/2020/12/net-zero-nation-draft-public-engagement-strategy-climate-change/documents/net-zero-nation-draft-public-engagement-strategy-climate-change/net-zero-nation-draft-public-engagement-strategy-climate-change/govscot%3Adocument/net-zero-nation-draft-public-engagement-strategy-climate-change.pdf

If you have any feedback I am happy to collate and submit on behalf of the project. Just email me on liz@penicuikcarbonchallenge.org










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