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February 2019

The Scottish Government is consulting on Scotland's Climate Change Adaptation Programme 2019-2024.  The new Adaptation Programme will build on progress made under the 2009 Adaptation Framework and the first statutory Adaptation Programme in 2014. The new Programme will take into account the latest Climate Change Risk Assessment published in 2017 and assessments of the current Programme by independent advisers, the Adaptation Sub-Committee of the Committee on Climate Change.

Earth Hour 2019 takes place on the Saturday 30th March between 20:30 and 21:30.  You can find out more on the council's Earth Hour page.

September 2016

Scotland's first national Climate Week takes place between 16 & 23 September.  The focus this year is on public bodies, but other organisations and groups are welcome to register and take part.  More information can be found on the Sustainable Scotland Network pages of the Sustainable Scotland Network website.

May 2016

 WWF's "Wear it Wild " day is on Friday 27th May.  To register your support, visit the WWF Scotland website

Earth Hour 2016

 March 2016

Earth Hour 2016 - 19th March 8.30-9.30

This year Earth Hour was held on Saturday 19th March between 8.30 and 9.30.  To find out more, and to see what's planned for next year, visit the WWF web page!

November 2015

November 2015

Scottish Government launches Clean Air Strategy

A new national strategy aiming to achieve cleaner air quality for Scotland was published by the Scottish Government on 4 November. The strategy sets out how the Scottish Government and its partner organisations, including local authorities and other public bodies, propose to deliver further reductions in air pollution and fulfil Scotland's legal responsibilities in relation to air quality as soon as possible.

To find out more, visit the Scottish Government website.

July 2015

120 Community Groups Sign Climate Change Pledge 

Climate Change Minister Dr Aileen McLeod MSP has celebrated the achievements of hundreds of community groups taking local action on climate change at a Climate Challenge Fund Gathering in Glasgow.

The Climate Challenge Fund has supported 756 community-led projects that are taking local action on climate change all over Scotland with £66.3 million in grant awards.

120 community groups from the Scottish Borders to Shetland have committed to taking Scotland's Climate Change Pledge for Communities. Groups taking the Pledge acknowledge the increasing impact that climate change will have on their community, across Scotland and internationally, and make a commitment to tackling the causes and effect of a changing climate within their local area.

Community groups can take Scotland's Climate Change Pledge for Communities at Keep Scotland Beautiful - Take the Pledge.


June 2015

Community Empowerment Bill approved in parliament

New legislation will encourage decision making at community level.

A new law which will give communities more powers to take on land and buildings and to have a say on how their services are delivered, has been approved by the Scottish Parliament.

Legislation which was passed today will give communities more rights to take over land in both urban and rural areas - this could include transforming waste ground into community gardens or bringing empty shops back into use.

The law will also mean local authorities and public bodies will have a statutory duty to weigh up the benefits of transferring their land and buildings to communities. Instead of waiting to be offered a building, service or piece of land groups can put forward their case for why a community centre would be better run by the community itself.

The Community Empowerment Bill will provide stronger protection for allotments and encourage councils to create new allotments in response to demand.

It will give community groups the opportunity to be involved in discussions on service with health boards, police or local authorities at the earliest stage while Ministers will also have powers to involve people and communities in funding decisions, like participatory budgeting.

During the debate it was also confirmed the Scottish Government will shortly launch a consultation on what future legislation should be developed to enhance the rights of football supporters. This is an important development and will see football supporters having the opportunity for a greater role in the decision making, running and potentially the ownership of their football clubs.

More information about this can be found on the Scottish Government Website


Scottish Government Announces Increased Action on Climate Change

Reducing energy bills and fighting fuel poverty will be at the heart of the Scottish Government's efforts to tackle climate change as Ministers announced a comprehensive new package of measures covering transport, environment and energy.

Heat accounts for approximately half of Scotland's emissions and over 55 per cent of energy demand - and in a statement to the Scottish Parliament Climate Change Minister Aileen McLeod has announced that improving the energy efficiency of Scotland's homes and non-domestic building stock will be designated a National Infrastructure Priority.

It will also use new powers - due to be devolved in the Scotland Bill - to determine how supplier obligations in relation to energy efficiency and fuel poverty can be better designed to better suit Scottish circumstances, as well as levering in private sector investment.

The announcement follows the publication of Scotland's greenhouse gas emissions for 2013 which show that Scotland is on track to meet its 42 per cent emissions reduction target ahead of schedule.


Explore West Lothian Council's CO2 emissions estimates using Aether's new TRACE Dashboard :


Global Apollo Project Launched:

Governments of the world have agreed to limit the world's rise in temperature to 2 ̊C and this means an absolute limit on the total accumulated CO2 that can be produced. On present trends it is estimated that this limit will be breached by 2035, and so the Apollo programme seeks to urgently reduce our annual output of CO2.  In order to achieve this, the LSE programme explains that carbon-free energy must rapidly become less costly to produce than energy based on coal, gas and oil, and that this requires a major scientific and technological programme of research, using the best minds in the world and the best science.

The Global Apollo Programme will therefore be a major publicly-funded research initiative, on a similar scale to the 1960s US Apollo programme, which, in today's money, cost around $15 billion a year over the course of a decade. Spending the equivalent - around 0.02% of global GDP - to develop renewables, smart grids and energy storage could make zero-carbon base-load electricity cheaper than coal within 10 years.

International Buy-In
Supporters of the programme include: Sir David Attenborough; Sir David King, UK special representative on climate change and former UK chief scientist; Lord Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal and former president of the Royal Society; Lord John Browne, former head of BP; and Lord Gus O'Donnell, former head of the UK civil service.


May 2015

The Future is Bright for Community Owned Solar in Edinburgh

Community-owned solar panels are to be installed in 25 Council buildings throughout Edinburgh, which may be the largest community owned urban renewable energy project in the UK.

The Council will work in partnership with the Edinburgh Community Solar Co-operative (ECSC) - supported by Energy4All - to deliver the initiative. Public buildings such as schools, leisure and community centres will be chosen to host the solar technology, which is expected to deliver significant environmental and social benefits.

Cycling Scotland Launches News Cycle Friendly Campus Programme and Fund

Cycle Friendly Campus is a new addition to Cycling Scotland's 'Cycle Friendly' programme.  Building on the success of the Cycle Friendly Employer, Cycle Friendly School and Cycle Friendly Communities schemes, the Cycle Friendly Campus award will specifically support universities and colleges in Scotland.

The 2015-16 Campus Fund is now open, with bids being invited from all Scottish colleges and universities, and associated organisations.

Cycling Scotland is keen to receive proposals for projects which are focused on increasing student cycling rates, in and around campus.

Investment of up to £10,000 is available for each project. Additional support may be offered to exceptional bids.

You can download copies of the Grant Guidelines, Standard Conditions and the application form.

Low Carbon Skills Learning resource launched to help Scotland Build a Low Carbon Future

Keep Scotland Beautiful, the charity for Scotland's environment, has launched a new national Low Carbon Skills e-learning resource as part of Scottish Apprenticeship Week. The resource will ensure that all young people have a greater understanding of how we can realise our ambitions for a low carbon Scotland, linking this to a skilled workforce which understands the impacts of climate change and the need for sustainable practices in every employment sector.

For more information, visit our schools pages.

Keep Scotland Beautiful publishes report on Public Sector Action on Low Carbon Behaviours

A report produced on behalf of the Sustainable Scotland Network (SSN) was launched at the 'First Annual Behaviours Event' in Glasgow on 15 May, by Keep Scotland Beautiful.

Highlighting the achievements of public sector organisations, including West Lothian Council, in the past year the report summarises a year-long Low Carbon Behaviours project applying the Scottish Government's Individual, Social, Material (ISM) behaviours approach to tackle climate change by helping people reduce their carbon footprint, improve energy efficiency and promote active travel.

April 2015

First Carrier Bag Charge Results announced. 

Six months into the introduction of a carrier bag charge in Scotland, usage of disposable bags has significantly reduced.  Ahead of the six month anniversary on Monday (April 20, 2015) early figures show that single-use carrier bag usage has been reduced by more than 80% since the charge was introduced on October 20, 2014.

Presently, Asda is indicating a more than 90 per cent reduction in single-use carrier bag use, while raising £350,000 for two social enterprise charities - Social Investment Scotland and Foundation Scotland. Co-operative Food has used the 5p charge to raise £375,000 for community projects across Scotland, reporting a usage reduction of 80%.

Nationwide retailers that signed up to Zero Waste Scotland's Carrier Bag Commitment - an agreement to disclose information on the charge, and donations made, to a central publicly available portal - are reporting that various charities up and down the country have also benefited from funds raised by the charge.

Scotland's Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead has announced that four retailers have donated more than £1 million to good causes as a result of the single-use carrier bag charge, which came into effect almost six months ago.

For more information, visit Zero Waste Scotland website.