National awards ceremony recognises local efforts to tackle climate change.
Community-led organisations from across Scotland gathered in Edinburgh yesterday (Wednesday 1 November) to celebrate the first ever Climate Challenge Fund Awards, organised by environmental charity, Keep Scotland Beautiful, on behalf of the Scottish Government.
The ceremony, which took place at Dynamic Earth, recognised the work undertaken by groups supported by the Fund that have taken local action to tackle climate change – including the efforts of two projects in Edinburgh – The Communities for Conservation project and The Edinburgh Creative Reuse Hub.
The Communities for Conservation project received the Energy Category Award for engaging diverse ethnic minority communities in Edinburgh to help improve home energy efficiency, reducing carbon emissions, fuel bills and fuel poverty. The project undertook a number of home energy efficiency advice visits and managed to reach out to a wide audience through workshops and running a drop-in centre.
The Waste Category Award was presented to the Edinburgh Creative Reuse Hub, run by Swap and Reuse Hub Cooperative. The project, led by the student community, was recognised for its collaborative approach to helping build a low carbon circular economy in the heart of the city. Its regular SwapShop, upcycling workshops and food sharing network has helped to significantly raise awareness of sustainability issues and solutions – whilst creating ways for the community to make big carbon savings.
The Climate Challenge Fund is a Scottish Government grants programme, managed and administered by Keep Scotland Beautiful, which provides funding and support for community groups to tackle climate change through community-led projects that reduce carbon emissions.
The hugely successful Climate Challenge Fund (CCF) has awarded grants totalling £85.8 million to 986 projects in 622 communities since its introduction in 2008, with projects involving energy efficiency, sustainable travel, local food and resource efficiency. The first ever CCF Awards ceremony recognised the work of funded projects which ran from April 2016 – March 2017. A map showing currently funded projects can be accessed here.
Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “It was great to see these inspirational projects getting the recognition they deserve, and I’d like to extend a big congratulations to all of those nominated.
“They are amongst the best of more than 100 local projects which benefited from £9.5 million of Scottish Government grants through the Climate Challenge Fund last year. That is money very well spent, as these projects have made a real difference to their local communities, and helped to drive change on a national level – to help combat a problem that affects all of us.”
Elizabeth Leighton, Chair of the CCF Awards Panel added: “On behalf of the CCF Awards Panel I would like to commend all the projects that entered the awards and congratulate the award winners.”
“The level of nominations for the Awards was of a high standard across the board and I thank the members of the CCF Awards Panel who worked together to select the award winning projects.”
The awards were presented by Dr Lindsay Montgomery CBE, Chairman of Keep Scotland Beautiful and Dave Coleman, Managing Director of the Carbon Literacy Project.
Dr Lindsay Montgomery commented: “The Climate Challenge Fund helps support communities from across the country to take much-needed local action to tackle climate change by making their climate change project ambitions a reality.
“Keep Scotland Beautiful is delighted to celebrate the commitment of all award nominees and present Communities for Conservation and The Edinburgh Creative Reuse Hub with the Energy and Waste Category Awards. I would like to commend them on their efforts.”
Dave Coleman added: “It was fantastic to meet so many community-led projects that have taken positive local action to tackle climate change: I congratulate all the award entrants and winners.
“We have worked closely with Keep Scotland Beautiful which has developed a two-day Carbon Literacy for Communities course for representatives of community-led organisations across Scotland, particularly those running Climate Challenge Fund projects. I was delighted to hear that a number of the award nominees have directly applied this training to help increase understanding of climate change in their communities and successfully identify ways to tackle it.”
Awards were presented at the ceremony for five categories; energy, travel, food and waste, plus a CCF Awards Panel Choice.