Carbon Neutral Islands: project progress report

We announced the commitment to support at least three islands to become fully carbon neutral by 2040 in the Programme for Government 2021-2022. This was raised further at COP 26 and the project now aims to support six islands become carbon neutral.

Young Islanders and Decarbonisation

Our young people have a very strong voice when it comes to climate change. Movements like "Fridays for Future" and the rise in climate change litigation brought forward by youth groups demonstrate that young people are not only aware of climate change, but are keen to play an active role in dealing with it.

The Project acknowledges this role and has developed a school component to ensure that young islanders have the opportunity to contribute to the carbon neutrality journey of Scotland's islands.

Climate Change Message in a Bottle

In the run up to COP26 we worked closely with schools across Scottish islands to bring their voice to the conference in Glasgow through the Climate Change Message in a Bottle project led by the University of Strathclyde. This project to a number of events that took place in person and virtually and was attended by the Minister for Children and Young People. A film capturing the voice and perspectives of young islanders was produced by Uist Film which included an endorsement by the singer Sting. An interactive map showing all the messages was also created by Island Innovation. Thirteen island champions were in direct contact with the schools and young islanders before and after COP26.

Taking forward the conference legacy, the Climate Change Message in a Bottle moved into a second phase that aligned with Scotland's Year of Stories. In this phase we worked with fourteen schools whose pupils contributed with stories of their islands in a carbon neutral world by 2030. They produced drawings, some of which were selected through a competition to be the front and back cover of this report. Taking inspiration from these carbon neutral stories, two artists (Melanie Grandidge and Hannah Rioridan) designed a ZINE that was shared with all participating schools.

Both phases of the Climate Change Message in a Bottle have been captured in a final report.

Carbon Neutral Islands Schools Project

Building on the work carried out already in the Climate Change Message in a Bottle, the Project has included a school component, that will be delivered by Youth Scotland.

This will help educate young islanders on climate change and empower them to apply this knowledge within their own island based realities, highlighting the importance of young islanders in policy and decision making – a key objective of the Young Islanders Network and in line with a Programme for Government commitment and National Islands Plan objectives.



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