Action to address climate emergency
New measures announced as Cabinet meets in Stirling.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has officially opened a new £6 million project which uses cutting-edge renewables technology to harness energy from waste water.
Ms Sturgeon launched the Stirling District Heat Network project while visiting the city as part of the 50th Travelling Cabinet.
The project, which received £2 million support through the Scottish Government’s Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme, was developed collaboratively with Stirling Council and Scottish Water Horizons. It is the first of its kind in the UK and will provide affordable and low-carbon heat to the local Stirling community.
The announcement is part of a new package of announcements made in Stirling - which is aiming to become Scotland’s first carbon neutral city - to tackle the global climate emergency. The Cabinet is meeting in the city to discuss key issues affecting the local community, including climate change, and Ministers will also be engaging directly with local residents at a public meeting held in the newly refurbished Engine Shed building.
Carbon emissions resulting from the Travelling Cabinet will be offset by the planting of trees in a local community forest, and the Scottish Government has also committed to ensuring all future similar meetings are as low carbon as possible.
In addition, £300,000 is to be invested to expand the Climate Ready Classrooms initiative to help young people aged 14-17 to develop their understanding of climate change, its causes and potential impacts. The programme aims to engage with at least 50% of Scotland’s secondary schools in the next two years and accredit almost 5,000 young people as carbon literate.
There was also additional support announced for communities across Scotland to undertake their own Big Climate Conversations, which will feed-in to the Scottish Government Public Engagement Strategy on climate change.
Ms Sturgeon said:
“Earlier this year Scotland became one of the first countries in the world to acknowledge the fact that we are facing a global climate emergency, and it is only right that we take appropriate action - with all policies being re-examined to ensure they meet our climate ambitions.
“That’s why the action we’ve announced today is important – and it will build on the world-leading measures already underway to address the climate crisis we face.
“We have already proposed one of the most ambitious statutory emissions targets anywhere in the world, and today’s announcements illustrate our commitment to developing new and innovative policies which will make a real difference.
“The Stirling Renewable Heat Demonstration Project is a great example of this, using waste water to help provide energy to local businesses and public buildings.
“We are also changing the way we work as a government to provide an example to others, and our commitment to ensure future meetings are as low carbon as possible is testament to this.”
- Climate Ready Classrooms is a carbon literacy training course for secondary schools developed and delivered by Keep Scotland Beautiful and accredited by The Carbon Literacy Project
- It has been run as a pilot since 2018 and is designed for young people aged 14–17 years, along with their teachers, head teachers, CLD practitioners and youth and children’s workers to develop their understanding of climate change, its causes and potential impacts
- The first year of the pilot saw over 200 learners and 18 educators across 13 schools undertake the carbon literacy training. 9 of those schools are using the programme as a platform to gain a first or lapsed Eco-Schools Green Flag while the other 4 have used the programme to support an application to renew an existing Green Flag
- In May 2018, a new Climate Change Bill was introduced to the Scottish Parliament to raise the ambition of Scotland’s domestic emissions reduction targets in line with the UN Paris Agreement
- Following the First Minister’s declaration of a global climate emergency in April 2019, and receipt of advice from the UK Committee on Climate Change in May, the Scottish Government lodged amendments to the Bill to set a net-zero emissions target for 2045, and to increase the targets for 2030 [to 70% reduction] and 2040 [to 90% reduction]. The Scottish Parliament’s Environment Committee voted in favour of these targets at Stage 2 in June
- The independent UK Committee on Climate Change advised that these targets represent a high ambition contribution to the UN Paris Agreement aims, including limiting warming to 1.5°C
- Scotland also remains the only country to have set statutory annual targets to reduce emissions and was the first to include a fair share of the emissions from international aviation and shipping in its targets
- Further information on The Big Climate Conversation is available on the Scottish Government website