Community action for climate change

The only way we're going to reduce carbon emissions, minimise the adverse effects of climate change and achieve a better quality of life is if we all take action.

As part of its commitment to Scotland's Climate Change Declaration the council is committed to working in partnership with Scottish Government and local communities to tackle climate change. We are working hard to reduce waste and promote sustainable choices to achieve a better quality of life.

For more information on what you can do as an individual to reduce your carbon emissions and save energy see the Energy and sustainability section of the council's website.

Local Energy Scotland

Local Energy Scotland administer and manage the Scottish Government's Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES).  They help communities and rural businesses with:

  • Free advice and support to develop renewable energy schemes or to secure and manage income from renewables,
  • Advice on funding streams,
  • Support to access CARES (development and pre-planning loans),
  • Support to access the Renewable Energy Investment Fund (post-consent loans).
Community and Renewable Energy Scheme

CARES has been established by the Scottish Government to encourage local and community ownership of renewable energy across Scotland and to help maximise the benefits to communities of renewable energy systems - whether commercial or community-owned.

CARES aims to accelerate progress towards the Scottish Government's target of 1GW of renewable energy to be locally or community owned by 2020, and to assist with delivering the Scottish Government's Energy Strategy through the provision of loan finance, grant funding and specialist advice.

Join the Scottish Community groups that have signed the Climate Change Pledge 

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.  St Michael's Parish Church of Scotland in Linlithgow were the first West Lothian group to sign the pledge.

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

Home Energy Scotland

The Home Energy Scotland programme, delivered by the Energy Saving Trust provides information, advice and support for communities and organisations that want to reduce energy, cut costs and lower their carbon footprint. For more information, visit Energy Saving Trust - Organisations and communities.

Climate Challenge Fund

The Climate Challenge Fund has supported hundreds of communities that are taking local action on climate change all over Scotland with  over 1,000 grant awards totalling £101 million.

Since 2008 thirteen projects have received funding through the Climate Challenge Fund (CCF) within the West Lothian Council area, with a total value of over £800,000 which have resulted in significant action on climate change by local communities. 

Applications are now closed for funding in 2018/19.

Additional support to help disadvantaged communities and ethnic minority communities to get their CCF applications off the ground is available through Development grants of £750. Projects led by young people to reduce the carbon footprint of their community are also supported through the Junior Climate Challenge Fund and associated Development Grants to support them developing a full application. All groups applying for CCF funding can count on support from a Development Officer Keep Scotland Beautiful, who manage the fund on behalf of the Scottish Government.

You can find more information about the fund and how to apply from the Keep Scotland Beautiful Climate Challenge Fund website or by calling a Development Officer on 01786 468 779, e-mail

Community Energy Scotland

The Scottish Government's Community Energy Scotland aims to maximise local ownership of renewable energy generation projects, and increase the benefits for communities that these projects can provide. Loan funds are available from Local Energy Scotland (CARES) to support the development of community projects which harness renewable energy. Interest free loans are also available from the Scottish Government through the Energy Saving Trust to help you install a renewables system.