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Celebrating community action on climate change across Scotland

01 July 2021

We share inspiration and learning from the Climate Challenge Fund.

We are celebrating over a decade of inspiring community climate action, as we launch a report and film to celebrate the people, the projects, and the impact of the Climate Challenge Fund across Scotland.

In 2008, we opened the Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund (CCF) to applicants for the first time and since then over 1,150 diverse projects spanning every single local authority area in Scotland have been awarded CCF grants to take action on climate change in their local areas. Total CCF funding exceeds £111 million.

Since then, we have been at the forefront of community climate action, supporting CCF funded groups, and working with communities across Scotland to build their capacity to tackle climate change.

Although focusing on projects funded over the last four years, the report also shares learning from 12 years of our management the CCF. The report is complemented by a newly launched film which celebrates the impact of the CCF - capturing the thoughts and feelings of community members working on grassroots CCF projects and a variety of partners from the wider CCF community. You can watch the film below.


Stories of success feature prominently in the report and demonstrate how CCF projects have provided valuable support to help communities cut carbon emissions through reducing their reliance on car travel, tackling waste, growing local food and using energy more efficiently in homes and community buildings.

The report also explains how, in addition to the carbon benefits, the Fund has driven community cohesion, knowledge sharing and fostered a Scotland wide peer-led movement where people have introduced their fellow citizens to more sustainable, healthy and often more economical ways of living – building broad public support for ambitious national action on climate change.

The contribution volunteers have made to successful CCF projects cannot be underestimated and the report shares inspiring personal stories of how these local volunteers have helped tackle carbon, strengthen their communities and play an invaluable part in the response to the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

From 1 July 2021 communities and groups in receipt of a CCF grant will receive support directly from the Scottish Government.  As we hand over the baton, our CEO Barry Fisher said:

“We’ve been privileged to have managed and developed the CCF on behalf of the Scottish Government for over a decade.

“We’d like to thank all those who have been integral to the success of this ground-breaking fund - the CCF Grant Panel members over the years, our partners, our employees, and most importantly, the CCF communities and people who make them. Without these passionate, inspiring and committed people working tirelessly across Scotland to reduce their impact on the climate CCF would never have been able to generate the legacy that it has.

“We will continue to facilitate and support communities to take climate action, in particular working to realise our ambition of a climate literate country. And as COP26 comes to Glasgow this year, we look forward with hope and ambition.”

Net Zero Secretary Michael Matheson said:

“The Climate Challenge Fund has supported many hundreds of communities across the country to take climate action, providing the tools, guidance and resources to inspire thousands of people to learn more about climate change, help reduce emissions and become more climate resilient.

“I am grateful to Keep Scotland Beautiful for the pivotal role it has played in making the Fund such a success. I have no doubt that Keep Scotland Beautiful will continue to drive positive change and help us all achieve a greener, more sustainable future with COP26 as a catalyst for further action.

“The Scottish Government will continue to empower communities to play a leading role in our just transition to net zero, including through new networks of community climate action hubs and Climate Action Towns. If we all play our part, Scotland can show the rest of the world how it’s done – and ensure our people and communities are at the forefront of the transition.

View the full report and film on the CCF website at

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