The purpose of this Request for Information (RFI) is to:
- Invite expressions of interest from organisations with relevant experience to establish a regional hub to facilitate community climate action.
- Ask for views on the proposed structure and functions of the regional hubs such that they effectively support community action on climate change.
- Ask for views on how the impacts of community climate action, within the regional hub framework, should be assessed.
Since 2008, the Climate Challenge Fund has supported communities across Scotland to take action on climate change and make the move to low carbon living. To date, the Scottish Government has made over 1,150 awards valued in excess of £111 million to communities in all 32 local authorities across Scotland.
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.
Review of the CCF
In 2019, the Scottish Government undertook a review of the Climate Challenge Fund, to consider how the Fund can continue to best support Scottish communities in taking action to tackle climate change.
The findings of the review showed that the CCF has played an important and valued role but there was also widespread support for significant change to the CCF. Key findings included support for the inclusion of adaptation to climate change in community level projects; widening the CCF to include established organisations working with communities; improving strategic and networking opportunities; and encouraging shared learning.
Associated academic assessments and a literature review had similar findings, highlighting particular opportunities for the CCF in regard to encouraging cross-sector co-operation, appropriately measuring success, and facilitating long-lasting outcomes.
Community climate action within a network of regional hubs
In November 2019, Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, Roseanna Cunningham MSP, announced that a network of regional hubs would be created to build on the legacy of the CCF and support community climate action.
Engagement with key stakeholders has greatly assisted in developing principles for the new framework. We propose that the hubs should provide a vehicle for communities to come together to engage in collective climate action, helping people to explore and adopt low-carbon behaviours, and supporting continued bottom-up change. In this way, community action can play a vital role in Scotland’s transition to a net zero society as well as enabling people to prepare themselves for the impacts of climate change. Specifically, the network of hubs should:
- empower communities to develop local solutions to making the transition to net zero and climate resilient living;
- encourage community groups to collaborate at regional level and to work in partnership with other key local stakeholders;
- allow an approach to be developed within each region that reflects local circumstances and priorities;
- have national coverage and seek broad community engagement;
- facilitate shared learning between different hubs/areas and the provision of technical advice – for example, on community energy or re-use initiatives.
Hubs will not be required to administer significant project funding but will help community groups to access relevant funding opportunities.
Evaluation of impacts
The CCF Review found that measuring carbon saved by community climate projects can be challenging and resource intensive, and can miss important benefits such as awareness raising. Hubs will be encouraged to develop a holistic approach to impact measurement that reflects how they are enabling the transition to net zero.
Future contract requirement
The Scottish Government intends to seek suitably placed organisations to coordinate Community Climate Action within each regional hub. In the long term, the network of hubs will ensure national coverage and provide for the particular circumstances of our islands communities but hubs may be introduced on a phased basis to allow learning from pilot projects.
In order to develop the Procurement Strategy, Scottish Government Procurement recognises the value of market participants having the opportunity to contribute to this process in a non-competitive and non-judgemental basis, and therefore welcomes your input. We would be most grateful if you could provide your responses to the questions detailed below.
The information gathered will be utilised in developing the Procurement Strategy and subsequent potential contracting arrangements. No single submission will define the Procurement Strategy in its entirety but all responses will be used to inform it.
We would be grateful if you would provide your views/comments by 5pm on Friday 17th July 2020.
Please send your responses via email to ClimateChangeEngagement@gov.scot
Supplementary note relating to outbreak of Covid-19 virus
In line with Scottish Government guidance to combat the spread of Covid-19, conventional means of community engagement may be less feasible in the short to medium term. Accordingly, we encourage the development, over this period, of innovative approaches that regional Community Climate Action hubs can adopt which may rely more on online/virtual interaction.
Request for Feedback
We would welcome your feedback and comments on the following:
From all stakeholders with an interest in community-led climate change action
- The type of support you think will most effectively enable communities to actively participate in community and individual climate action, particularly those with little previous knowledge of or involvement with climate change issues.
- The appropriate size of the regional hubs and the role that you think they can most effectively play?
- Any key barriers to climate change action / behaviour change at a community level you have identified during delivery of previous projects and how hubs could address them.
- How to catalyse the development and strengthening of climate action networks and embed co-operation and learning at a regional level.
- How the performance, and effectiveness, of the regional hubs – and community climate action within each hub - should be assessed.
- Please provide any other feedback you think would be relevant.
Expressions of interest from organisations with relevant experience to establish a regional hub to facilitate community climate action
7. The capacity in which your organisation works with community groups and how you currently provide support or information on climate change.
8. What geographical area you would propose your hub would cover and how you would deliver activity in “normal” conditions and within the context of Covid-19 restrictions.
9. An indicative budget for pilot operation between September 2020 and March 2021.
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