Alness and Invergordon join the Climate Action Towns program to develop community engagement against climate change

Alness High Street. Photo by: Katielee Arrowsmith, SWNS.

TWO communities in Easter Ross are among seven in Scotland to join an initiative to tackle the climate crisis.

Alness and Invergordon have been chosen to be part of the Climate Action Towns program, which aims to help communities find ways to make changes at the local level that will help fight climate change, giving them a voice and engaging those who may not have done so before. engaged in climate action.

Cities were chosen based on their population size, Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) factors and whether they were not historically committed to climate action.

Maree Todd MSP for Caithness, Sutherland and Ross welcomed the recent announcement.

She said: “HMIS 2020 indicates that there are areas in both Alness and Invergordon which are considered economically deprived, some of which rank in the top 10% most deprived areas in Scotland.

“We know that sustainable options are not always the most economical and this can hinder our progress in tackling climate change.

“No community should be left behind, and that’s why I’m so happy to see the launch of The Climate Action Town project which seeks to consult with communities to identify local barriers to climate action and seeks to empower and to help communities bring about change .

Maree Todd MSP on Alness High Street.
Maree Todd MSP on Alness High Street.

“Over the past week and a half we have seen a series of ambitious targets announced by world leaders attending the COP26 summit in Glasgow, while global action is essential, we must do all we can at the level to reduce carbon emissions and deliver an equitable and just transition to net zero.

“I’m thrilled to see two cities in my constituency selected as cities for climate action and I can’t wait to see the results.”

The project, which will be carried out by Architecture and Design Scotland, will see collaboration between residents and local agencies and seek to encourage collective climate action, while taking into account each city’s unique local challenges.

The outcome of the work will be used to describe local climate action learning which can then be used as a model across Scotland.

Easter Ross Area Committee Chair Councilor Fiona Robertson said: ‘We welcome the opportunity for Alness and Invergordon to be part of this project. Both cities were identified based on their local need to adapt to the risk of climate change.

“The fight against climate change is something in which we all have a part to play and I have no doubt that these two communities will come together during this project with innovative ideas to build resilience to the effects of climate change.

Fiona Robertson
Fiona Robertson

The announcement comes at a time of growing interest in the Cromarty Firth, with Highland Council currently working with partners through the Opportunity Cromarty Firth (OCF) Consortium to promote a series of projects aimed at strengthening the region’s contribution to climate action at national and regional levels. and the development of the Future Highlands Strategy.

The Climate Action Towns program will receive £146,000 in funding from the Scottish Government.

Just Transition Minister Richard Lochhead said: “Clearly we need to decarbonise industry and society in order to mitigate the worst effects of climate change, but we need to do it in a way that is just. for everyone and leaves no one behind.

“Scotland was at the forefront of the industrial revolution, so we consider it right that Scotland be at the forefront of this green revolution.

“We have a unique opportunity to effect change in a way that will be good for our people, our communities, our economy and our planet – we must seize it.

“Tackling the climate crisis requires all of us to get involved, at all levels. We can all make a difference. The Climate Action Towns project aims to support and empower communities to have a say in how their local areas should change as part of a just and equitable transition to net zero. I look forward to seeing how the participating cities will rise to the challenge and find ways that will make a difference not just locally, but for Scotland and indeed the world.

Climate Action Towns will focus on the power of “placed” action, which can include: building resilient food webs, creating community-based renewable energy cooperatives, considering climate when deciding to build new buildings or to renovate and adapt existing ones.

Other towns selected include Annan, Campbeltown and Stevenston.

READ: Annual report reveals ‘great result’ for Cromarty Firth port despite Covid-19 impact

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