Climate Challenge Fund

The Climate Challenge Fund supports communities across Scotland to take action on climate change.

Keep Scotland Beautiful manages the fund on our behalf and an independent grants panel makes recommendations to Ministers on which projects should be funded.

The fund supports community-led projects which lead to realistic and measurable reduction of carbon emissions, and which are designed to leave a sustainable legacy of low-carbon behaviour. Themes include energy efficiency including:

  • building refurbishments
  • sustainable and active travel
  • reducing, reusing and recycling waste
  • food growing

In addition to reducing carbon emissions, the Climate Challenge Fund offers a range of social and health-related benefits to communities. These include:

  • increased community cohesion combatting social isolation
  • saving money and reducing fuel poverty rates
  • opportunities for employment and training
  • increased wellbeing for communities

See the list of projects awarded with funding for 2019 to 2021. The 2020 to 2022 funding round application stage has now closed. Successful projects will be announced next year.

Find more information on the Climate Challenge Fund website.

Climate Challenge Fund review and future plans

In spring 2019, the Scottish Government undertook a review of the Climate Challenge Fund (CCF), to consider how the fund can continue to best support Scottish communities in taking action to tackle climate change. 

CCF recipients, other community groups, stakeholders, and members of the public gave their views on the current CCF, as well as the future of the fund. Views were collected via public events, meetings with stakeholders, an online public survey, and open Twitter discussions.

The main finding of the review was a strong message that the Climate Challenge Fund has played an important and valued role. However, the majority of people we spoke to did feel that while helping Scotland’s communities to address climate change was still a relevant purpose, the Climate Challenge Fund as it stands needed to be revised.

Other key findings included support for:

  • the inclusion of adaptation
  • widening the CCF to include established organisations working with communities
  • improving strategic and networking opportunities
  • encouraging shared learning

There was also support for introducing longer term funding than the CCF currently offers and for smaller funding pots.

A number of academic assessments of the Climate Challenge Fund were reviewed, alongside literature on other similar community-based sustainability initiatives. The findings were consistent with a number of findings from the review, including support for longer term projects and improved networking opportunities. The literature review also highlighted the need for improved support around the legacy of the projects. Read the full literature review.

Community climate action hubs 

In light of the review findings, the creation of a regional network of community climate support hubs has been announced. This network of regional hubs will be spread across Scotland including one specifically for our islands and it will come into being next year.

This approach will allow the Scottish Government to more effectively support Scottish communities in making the transition to low carbon and climate resilient living by providing a more strategic regional approach to climate change action.

The hubs will provide support in their local areas, helping groups to take advantage of community funding opportunities, and reducing the administrative burden on projects. 

The hubs will also facilitate better networking, ensuring a joined-up approach is being taken to tackling climate change at a regional level and ensuring more support around project legacy.

Communities' Climate Change Pledge

We created the Communities' Climate Change Pledge to help community groups raise awareness of climate change within their local areas, and of the actions that can be taken to move to more beneficial and healthier low carbon lifestyles. It is open to community groups across Scotland, regardless of whether they have received funding from the Climate Challenge Fund.

Find more information and sign up to the pledge on Keep Scotland Beautiful's website.

Contact

For more information on our policy supporting the Climate Challenge Fund, contact Catriona Jeorrett at climate.change@gov.scot.