- Smashing litter picking targets during an unexpected stay in Scotland
- Keeping our communities beautiful
- Celebrating our brilliant volunteers
- Designing a pocket garden
- Getting to know... Nicola Smith
- East Haven Together
- It’s time to litter-ly turn anger into action
- Working in partnership to give communities a helping hand to clean up Scotland
- Why Beautiful Scotland is important to Lauder in Bloom
- Climate Ready Classrooms at Speyside High School
- Taking part in It's Your Neighbourhood
- Bags of opportunity for good
- Getting to know... Eve Keepax
- Lucky to live here
- A year of opportunity ahead
- How I’m trying to waste less this Christmas
- Unmasking a looming litter emergency
- Getting to know... Brian Rae
- A Canal College® journey
- Volunteering during a pandemic
- Applauding the unsung heroes who manage our award winning parks and beaches
- Socially distant but learning together
- Getting to know.......Lisa Snedden
- Waste vs the pandemic: finding a new normal for single-use cups
- Now is the time to change
- Could the Global Goals provide a framework for the green recovery?
- Getting to know....Connor Launder
- Our incredible Beautiful Scotland and It’s Your Neighbourhood community
- Getting to know our people behind Climate Ready Classrooms
- Lockdown litter - a community view
- Looking after beaches
- Time for a more sustainable future, a greener and fairer one for all
- Getting to know.....Claire Gibson
- The Origins of George Wyllie's 'Original Earth Guarantee'
- Getting to know... Aoife Hutton
- National disgrace of lockdown litter
- The healing power of local places
- Tackling Covid-19 and climate change at a community level
- Amid the Coronavirus crisis the climate emergency has not gone away
- Bringing environmental education home
- #TurdTag – getting creative to tackle dog poo
- Preparing young people to take action on climate change
- Running on community power
- Reconnecting with nature
- Coronavirus isn't an excuse - flytipping is still a crime
- Sowing seeds of hope in our community
- Hope for the environment post-Coronavirus?
- From Eco-School Committee to environmental charity
- You can’t tackle the climate crisis unless you are climate ready
- Why everyone wins when you take part in Beautiful Scotland
- Entering our third decade with a splash
- Is 2020 the year for a circular economy in Scotland?
- A year in the life of: the campaigns and innovation team
- Scottish Partnership Against Rural Crime
- Setting sail: all aboard the partnership
- Free wheeling
- Scotland is thirsty for change
- This #ScotClimateWeek, are you ready to pledge?
- Upstream Battle at Whinhill Primary School
- Elaine Hopley on our Upstream Battle week of action
- 20 September climate strikes: what took place and what happens now?
- Playing our part to reduce cup waste
- The funeral of a glacier: time to pull the emergency brake
- Get your Paws on Plastic
- Arran – exploring its hidden gems
- It’s time to take action to reverse climate change
- Monitoring litter to help keep Scotland beautiful
- Tackling Our Unsustainable Cup Consumption
- Cups hitting the ground: what we learned at TRNSMT Festival
- We All Have To Fight The UpStream Battle
- It's rubbish that people have to clean up after litter bugs
- The power of pocket gardens
- Registering your clean up makes a difference
- Tackling climate change starts at home
- Speaking the language of Carbon Literacy
- The life of a Keep Scotland Beautiful intern
- Wheatley Group: two years on and still going strong
- Roadside Litter: Think twice before you chuck
- Our citizen scientists are ready to make waves for Upstream Battle
- Taking a stand on climate change – what actions will you take?
- The Cup Movement will tackle our litter culture head on
- Working across borders to tackle climate change
- Celebrating 25 years of Eco-Schools in Scotland
- Climate change – it’s personal
- Putting young people first for our environment at Keep Scotland Beautiful
- Treading lightly – steps to lower our carbon footprint
- Aunty Babs washes her spoon and so should you
- Climate change: we can all do our bit
- Have yourself a green Christmas
- Shifting up a gear on Scotland’s roadside litter problem
- It’s time to consign our litter problem to the dustbin of history
- We can save our seas by starting at home
- Everyone can do their bit to protect the world – what’s your Goal?
Twelve months ago, I stressed that we all need to be climate ready if we are to combat the climate crisis. This has never been truer.
Last year we thought the eyes of the world would be on Scotland as global leaders gathered in Glasgow for COP26 – the climate change summit. But the pandemic delayed that. Now, the stakes are even higher as we move closer to the likelihood of even more devastating impacts of irreversible climate change. But our hopes persist. With President Biden reinstating the US to The Paris Agreement just hours after being sworn in, one of the biggest global players has reignited our hope that we will achieve our ambition to reduce and limit the damage to our planet.
Climate change is impacting our lives now; we are seeing more frequent and more extreme weather events such as floods and record beating temperatures – 2020 once again set records globally for extreme heat.
Last month we welcomed Scotland’s Climate Change Plan update and draft Public Engagement Strategy. Yet we acknowledge much more needs to be done, and urgently, if we are to truly build a green recovery and catalyse action towards our net zero ambition.
The UK Committee on Climate Change analysis suggests that almost 60% of the emissions abatement we need to see between now and 2035 will require at least some action on the part of the public.
We know that there is a real desire for further action from people in Scotland; with 79% of the Scottish public now describing climate change as an immediate and urgent problem.
However, this concern has yet to translate to the urgent behaviour change we need to see if we are to become a low carbon society in the next decade. Great reductions have been made in Scotland’s emissions, yes, but the public are going to have to step up – and that could change how we live our lives completely, and positively.
We need a Scotland that is socially, culturally and behaviourally climate aware to be effective in addressing climate change – and this requires a positive ramping up and shift in public engagement and education to raise awareness of the climate facts and the challenges ahead while providing a clear route which helps people participate knowledgeably, and with confidence, in a just transition to a Net Zero Nation.
We have been working to bring about a climate literate Scotland, to equip people with the skills that they will need to make decisions that positively address climate change. Last year, the pandemic opened up an opportunity for us to reach more people by moving our Climate Emergency Training entirely online and we have seen a marked increase in interest and participation across all sectors.
Our training supports people to respond to the risks, opportunities, and responsibilities ahead. It helps identify practical actions that can be taken to reduce emissions personally, and in organisations. It can be tailored to each organisation’s or individual’s context and can also carry our own certification or accreditation by the Carbon Literacy Project depending on which course is completed.
A group of volunteers and staff from Sustrans Scotland became our first cohort to successfully complete a bespoke online four-week learning block consisting of weekly live sessions and homework. While Glasgow City Council was the first local authority to put 80 participants through Climate Emergency Training and is now training more employees. And, we have supported a group of future climate champions from ScottishPower to become the first employees to participate in training and receive Carbon Literacy accreditation.
We’re delighted that people are stepping up to the challenge. It can be daunting. Yet we must be climate ready, armed with knowledge and confidence to guide these crucially important next steps.
The pressure is on politicians to deliver a positive result from COP26 in November this year. But let’s not wait for them to solve this crisis alone. The best time to take action was years ago; the second-best time to cut emissions is now.
First published in the Scotsman on 16 February 2021