Local Government and Communities Committee
1. The Committee recommended that the role of the community sector should be better reflected in the final version of the Plan. (55)
- The Scottish Government is encouraging communities in Scotland to talk about and take action on climate change in a number of different ways. Climate Conversations have enabled people across Scotland to discuss climate change and the actions that might be needed to tackle it.
- The Climate Challenge Fund supports communities throughout Scotland to take action on climate change and make the move to low carbon living. The fund supports a range of activity and has helped communities to reduce, reuse and recycle their waste, increase the energy efficiency of homes and community buildings, encourage active travel and the use of low carbon transport, and produce local food. The continuation of the CCF demonstrates our ongoing commitment to support communities across Scotland to tackle climate change. This continued investment will also help to ensure that communities are empowered, well-equipped and supported to deliver long-term solutions to local issues on their own terms.
- The important role that communities play in tackling climate change is explored in more detail in the final Plan.
2. The Committee welcomed the Climate Challenge Fund as a mechanism for funding community led programmes. However, it noted that the lack of information on how this fund will be financed going forward makes it difficult to assess how it will contribute to climate change abatement. Further, stakeholders highlighted that ongoing resources are required in order to achieve longer-term behaviour change and recommended a food fund to provide funds for community food growing enterprises on a more significant scale. (56)
- The Climate Challenge Fund (CCF) was opened for 1 and 2 year applications in June 2017, with awards expected to be announced in March 2018. The CCF is a key route for the Scottish Government to engage with and support community action on climate change.
- The CCF supports communities to deliver projects across five main themes; energy efficiency, sustainable travel, waste, building improvements and food. Since the CCF opened in 2008 a substantial number of communities have been supported to grow their own food, reduce the carbon impact of their food choices and reduce food waste. As such, we do not feel it necessary to support a dedicated food fund from the CCF budget at present.
- Scottish Government already provides some funding for community growing initiatives, most notably through the Central Scotland Green Network Development Fund for which £100,000 has been set aside for community growing projects in 2018-19
3. The Committee requested further information regarding what mechanisms or funding the Scottish Government will use to drive behaviour change in those communities where climate change is a lower priority. (57)
- The Climate Challenge Fund widens access and drives change by engaging audiences across a range of communities, including those where climate change is a lower priority. A 2015 independent review of the Climate Challenge Fund identified one of the Fund's key strengths as broadening its reach to new, disadvantaged and hard-to-reach communities, where climate change is not a key priority.