Collaboration is key to becoming a climate literate nation

A blog post by Catherine Gee

Catherine Gee
Deputy Chief Executive

Posted 04/12/2023

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Today is Carbon Literacy Action Day – a national day of climate education and action which aims to catalyse action on climate change through Carbon Literacy training led by the Carbon Literacy Project.   It also gives us a chance to pause and reflect on our achievements and celebrate what we have achieved despite the odds.

Carbon Literacy Action Day coincides with the UN COP28 Climate Negotiations, and no matter what the world leaders decide, or don’t decide, one thing is clear people power can, must and will make a difference in tackling what is the biggest crisis facing our planet and all that call it home.

Environmental issues, particularly climate change, have become more politicised and polarised in recent years and not always for the right reasons and this looks set to continue.  We know that recent back tracking on UK and Scottish policy and commitments has disheartened many of us working in the field, indeed it has fuelled discussions with colleagues some of whom feel almost ready to throw in the towel.  We also know that these changes in direction and delays doesn’t send the right message to general public about the importance and urgency of action, nor does it help those of us of working hard to engage the public in meaningful debate to easily cut through the negativity and communicate positive aspects of living more sustainably.

We have to believe that optimism, hope, determination and a stubbornness will win through. 


We recognise that marginalised communities are likely to suffer the most from climate change, and in many cases already are.  Those in less affluent neighbourhoods are already feeling the impacts and yet often have lower carbon footprints than those in the most affluent areas.  Those in rural communities, working in rural industries are already seeing the costs as crops fail, sustainable travel options seem unavailable and landscapes and nature change unrecognisably – yet we know many have a desire to do more to combat climate change.

We understand that we need to do more to reach those most in need and in the sectors that have significant opportunity to assist us with and flourish from a just transition.  And this is why we have been keen to develop new partnerships, such as the one we announced earlier this month with SAC Consulting (part of Scotland’s Rural College) to support rural industries to respond effectively to the climate crisis.

Through our partnership, and alongside the award-winning Carbon Literacy Project, we will jointly provide accredited Carbon Literacy training for the rural industries sector.

Delivered in collaboration, our training offers businesses and organisations operating in agricultural, food and drink, and land-based sectors an opportunity to gain a recognised qualification in Carbon Literacy to help futureproof their business and support the drive towards a Net Zero future.

 As the official partner in Scotland for the award-winning Carbon Literacy Project, our training, which we have been pioneering since 2016, is uniquely tailored to the Scottish context and is engaging, informative and topical.  We’ve trained and supported more than 5,000 people – people like you and me – to become accredited as Carbon Literate.

Dave Coleman, Co-Founder and Managing Director of The Carbon Literacy Project recognised the partnership and joins us as we look positively to the future of Carbon Literacy in the sector.  He commented:

"Agriculture, food and land-based businesses are having to adapt rapidly to the impacts of climate change. At the same time Rural industries also contribute a significant proportion of Scotland's total greenhouse gas emissions, so the sector needs to fully understand both the challenges, and their solutions, in order to evolve rapidly. The announcement from The Carbon Literacy Project's official partner in Scotland, Keep Scotland Beautiful, of an innovative collaboration with SAC Consulting to offer wider support to the sector couldn't have come at a better time. Successfully combatting climate-change requires collaboration, and we are delighted to explore how our role in this partnership can help provide the sector with a comprehensive package of Carbon Literacy support. With three credible, positive and knowledgeable organisations working together, we can collectively assist the sector to play its full part in helping Scotland become a Net Zero Nation."


Combating climate change relies on us all doing something.  It relies on us – ordinary people from a cross sector of society – recognising that while our actions all contribute to the climate crisis, they can also be a force for good if we change them for the better. 

Addressing the biggest environmental challenge to face our planet, nature and people, will rely on the actions we all take individually, but it will also rely on solid partnerships, increased collaboration and a commitment to all do a little more in our personal and work lives. 

So, let’s do it!

For more information on our collaborative accredited Carbon Literacy training for the rural industries sector contact us at SACcarbonliteracy@keepscotlandbeautiful.org or visit our training pages.

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