- A decade and a half of environmental legislation
- It's never too early to learn about the climate emergency
- Our strategy to inspire action for our environment
- FARE Lochend - Where good news is standard
- Glashieburn's LEAF journey
- An Interview with Travel Influencer Chris Lawlor
- Climate action with hope and optimism
- The Big River Irvine Riverbank Clean
- Eating nettles and gazing at clouds: a LEAF reflection
- #TakeItBack to the start
- Dalry Primary School's LEAF journey
- Pedalling towards a sustainable future
- Chirnside Primary School's LEAF journey
- Flowerbank Early Childhood Centre's Pocket Garden Experience
- To keep Scotland beautiful we all need to take action
- Applegarth and Hutton’s LEAF journey
- Our hope for a nature positive Scotland
- Becoming a Platinum Carbon Literate Organisation
- Volunteering with KSB and loving every minute
- We are all accountable for our actions
- Hillhead students talk keeping Kelvingrove Park beautiful
- Making it easy to choose a reusable cup for takeaway drinks
- Get to know...John MacLennan
- Get to know...Sandy Scott
- How Eco-Schools benefits pupils, teachers and communities
- Community gardening for climate, nature and heritage in Cumbernauld
- Tackling the litter emergency to protect our wild isles
- Scotland isn't looking so beautiful. We can change that.
- Get to know... Green Flag Award Judges
- Collaboration and innovation to tackle marine litter
- An introduction to Kinnesswood in Bloom...
- The litter emergency
- Our charity faces the environmental challenges ahead with optimism
- Wrapping up 2022
- Biodiversity - Reflections on COP15
- Small steps to protect biodiversity
- Why Mountains Matter
- It’s not just bees and butterflies on your flowers
- Wet Wipes - What's the Issue?
- Young Reporters on the Route: The Launch of Running Out of Time
- Getting to know... Tom Brock OBE
- Getting to know...Kyle Usher
- A busy day for Upstream Battle education
- Planning a Wedding with the Planet in Mind
- 'Disposable' vapes and the damage they cause
- Climate Emergency Training provides positive opportunities for young people
- Making climate action possible for everyone
- Reasons to be positive
- Shotts is ACTing NOW on climate change
- Hope is a Garden
- Do we need the word 'pests' anymore?
- Beautiful Scotland judging - the truth
- Supporting Scotland to be the very greenest destination it can be
- Arbroath - working together, inspiring local climate action and improving lives
- Reflections of a beach manager
- I do like to be beside the seaside
- Climate Action Schools - helping young people take action
- Inspiring and empowering young people
- Climate Ready Classrooms at George Heriot's
- Data drives decisions
- Litter, fines and doing time
- Why our Web Developer Cameron loves being part of Team KSB
- It's only one
- Why join the family of It’s Your Neighbourhood?
- YoungScot Legacy Event
- Why it is the sea and SDG 14 for me
- Litter picking - a surprisingly fun group activity
- Climate Action Skills and positive action for all
- Seeing community groups thrive with Beautiful Scotland and It's Your Neighbourhood
- (What to do on) a dreich morning on the Firth of Clyde
- West Lothian Litter Pickers – How I got involved
- Scotland’s Climate Festival – Seed funding for community action
- Climate Ready Classrooms at St. Paul’s RC High School
- Scottish Book Trust representative joins Pocket Garden judging panel
- Have #YourSayOnLitter - we plan to...
- Everyone has something to say about litter – time to make it count
- Who ya gonna call?
- Why I pick up other people's garbage.
- Getting to Know...Colin
- Creative Careers: Spotlight on Heritage #NoWrongPath
- Celebrating Scotland’s best managed green and blue spaces
- Taking small steps towards a more sustainable future
- Caring for our planet
- Football’s Power to Combat Climate Change
- Our work on the COP26 Youth Climate Programme
- What’s litter got to do with climate change?
- Scotland’s Climate Festival kicks off in Falkirk
- Responsible Tourism – an opportunity not to be missed
- Climate Change Vlog by Dalry Primary School
- Failing our future?
- Our Week of Climate Action
- #ScotClimateWeek - our impacts and actions
- Protecting the sand and sea
- Another fine mess – part one
- Designing a lower carbon Scotland
- Getting to know... Lisa Snedden
- Combating climate change with information, education and training
- Litter picking 500 miles was always Gonna Be easy
- 7K for 7 Flags Challenge
- Littering less at St Joseph's Primary School in Glasgow
- 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
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