CHARITY HELPS LAUNCH CAMPAIGN TO TACKLE CLIMATE EMERGENCY
Charity Forth Environment Link and pupils from Bantaskin Primary, Falkirk helped launch a major TV, radio and digital campaign to encourage people across Scotland to come together to tackle the climate emergency on 3rd June.
The Scottish Government’s ‘Let’s do Net Zero’ campaign calls for collective action to help hit net zero and comes ahead of COP26 in Glasgow later this year.
The campaign highlights the benefits a net zero society will bring for our economy, health and environment. It also aims to raise greater awareness of the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss, and the transformation that is required across all corners of our economy and society in order to end Scotland’s contribution to climate change.
It will provide information and resources to help support the choices and decisions we can all take to help reduce emissions whilst improving our health and wellbeing. It will also showcase the achievements of communities, businesses and organisations who have already taken action to reduce emissions and introduce more environmentally sustainable practices – including projects by Forth Environment Link.
Figures show that at least three quarters of the Scottish public agree that action on climate change must be taken now, while under a quarter consider themselves knowledgeable about the consequences of failing to act.
Scotland is already committed to reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045 and record capital investment of £1.9 billion will be spent on low-carbon projects in 2021/22 to tackle climate change and create good green jobs.
Launching the campaign, Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport Michael Matheson said:
“Scotland was one of the first countries in the world to declare a climate emergency and we are wholly committed to ending our contribution to climate change, definitively, by 2045.
“We can be proud that we have already halved our greenhouse gas emissions since 1990, but the second half of the journey to becoming a net-zero nation will be far more challenging, and require everyone to play their part.
“Climate change is the greatest threat facing the world’s population. It’s not a distant, far away problem: we’re already seeing the impact here in Scotland.
“The journey to net-zero will transform every aspect of our lives: how we live, how we work, how we travel. It presents huge potential for us to seize the opportunities that becoming a net-zero society presents – growing our economy, improving our health and wellbeing whilst protecting and enhancing Scotland’s iconic natural environment.
“2021 is a vital year for climate action and COP26 in Glasgow puts Scotland centre stage. We’ll demonstrate the climate action Scotland is taking, the ways in which we put people and wellbeing at the heart of all we do, and how our Scottish values underpin our place in the world. The time for action is now. It is the people living on this planet, at this moment, who can secure the future of our climate for the next generations.
“This campaign highlights the need for urgent, collective action. If we all play our part in the just transition to net-zero, Scotland can show the rest of the world how it’s done – and ensure our people, businesses and communities are at the forefront of our new green economy.”
Forth Environment Link helps communities across Forth Valley live more sustainably, supporting the Scottish Government’s net zero target and ambition for 20-minute neighbourhoods where most of people's daily needs can be met within a short walk or cycle.
The charity supports more journeys on foot or bike through its public bike share schemes; encourages food growing through its work with local communities and schools; and promotes reuse through its upcycling work.
Clara Walker, Executive Director of Forth Environment Link said: “We’re helping build the infrastructure for a greener Scotland with our public bike share schemes, community food growing projects and reuse and repair programmes. Tackling climate change head on with targeted, practical solutions that support the most vulnerable people in our communities and helping build resilience for times of crisis.
“In the past year alone, we’ve helped hundreds of key workers get to work by e-bike and distributed over 300 growing kits to community groups.”
In the past year Forth Environment Link has:
Distributed over 300 veg your ledge home growing kits to 22 local community groups. (Using planters made from recycled wood).
Loaned e-bikes to over 100 local key workers, for as long as they are needed, and serviced over 500 key worker bikes.
Given away 105 free annual Forth Bike memberships to keyworkers.
Supported nearly 700 people to increase their awareness and understanding of Climate Change through its Climate Kitchen and Garden (CKG) project.
Reached over 13000 people with their Facebook and YouTube cooking demos. This also included delivering free local veg boxes to low-income families.
Supported Falkirk Food Pantry to grow their own veg by supplying them with a polytunnel. The food bank has also been given a community e-bike and trailer to deliver fresh produce.
Started a monthly bread making club, Crust for Life.
Helped set up NeighbourFood markets across Scotland – 120 farmers and producers now have a direct route to market. This has supported a surge in interest in buying local, the first lockdown saw an almost 400% growth in orders.
Developed a Couch to Commute beginners cycling app.
Supported 7 businesses and community groups with e-cargo bike loans or purchases.