Highland Council has several officials working on Climate Change
Keith Masson Climate Change Officer
Joe Perry Climate Change Coordinator
Anna Myeshkova Climate Change Coordinator (Electric Vehicles)
Climate Change Coordinator
Development and Infrastructure
The Highland Council HQ, Glenurquhart Road
Inverness IV3 5NX
Tel. 01463 702581 | www.highland.gov.uk/climatechange
There is also an 'Eco Officer Network', consisting of a group of around 70 volunteers from across Council services who help these officials to arrange and deliver a variety of initiatives related to carbon reduction.
Glasgow Council backs fossil fuel divestment
On 1 April, Glasgow City Council endorsed a plan to end their £500 million investment in fossil fuels. The motion was approved by a full meeting of Glasgow City Council by a margin of 69 votes to 4 against. The motion will now go forward to Strathclyde Pension Fund Committee. Full details can be found in this press release from Friends of the Earth Scotland.
The FoE web page has a link to a number of videos and PDF presentations by a range of experts on various aspects of the general topic of 'Scotland's response to the Climate Emergency'.
Scottish author's new book on climate change
Scottish geographer and energy specialist Neil Kitching has published 'Carbon Choices' on the common-sense solutions to our climate and nature crises
"Carbon Choices tells the greatest story on planet Earth. How one group of sociable animals came to emit 40 billion tonnes (40,000,000,000) of an invisible gas each year, unwittingly changing the chemistry of the atmosphere and the oceans, and steadily destroying the life support systems that humans and wildlife depend on. It takes a fresh perspective on how the excessive consumption by wealthier people has unwittingly driven us into climate and wildlife crises, and considers the psychology that drives us to buy more ‘stuff’ and whether this makes us happier."
Alok Sharma to work full-time on Cop26 climate conference preparation
Decision to move business secretary follows pressure from environment experts due to scale of role
Peter Walker Political correspondent
Boris Johnson has moved his business secretary, Alok Sharma, to work full-time on preparations for the Cop26 climate conference in Glasgow this November, a change urged by environmental experts given the scale of the role.
UK to stop funding overseas fossil fuel projects
The Prime Minister announced an end to the UK Government's direct support for the fossil fuel energy sector overseas, when he opened the Climate Ambition Summit in December 2020.
From Government press release 12 December 2020
In a major policy shift, the PM will commit today to ending taxpayer support for fossil fuel projects overseas as soon as possible, as the government works to support the sector’s transition to low-carbon energy.
. . . .
This is a significant change – in the last four years, the government supported £21 billion of UK oil and gas exports through trade promotion and export finance. The policy will be implemented after a short period of consultation and is intended to come into force as soon as possible, and before COP26 next November.
The Guardian 11 December 2020
Fiona Harvey, Environment correspondent
The UK taxpayer is to stop funding fossil fuel projects overseas as part of the government’s push for international action on the climate [at] a key summit [in December.]
Taxpayers helped to support more than £21bn of fossil fuel development overseas in the last four years, despite calls from green campaigners to halt the finance.
The halt to funding for fossil fuels has been mooted since early this year, when the prime minister was stung by accusations of hypocrisy because the UK continued to fund such developments despite preparing to host the next round of vital UN climate talks, COP26, in Glasgow.
David Attenborough ‘A Life on Our Planet’
Honest, revealing and urgent, 'A Life on Our Planet' is Sir David Attenborough’s witness statement for the natural world. He offers a powerful first-hand account of humanity’s impact on nature and a message of hope for future generations.
David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet is now available on Netflix.
Netflix memberships range from £5.99 to £11.99 per month, depending on the quality of your membership. The platform offers a one month free trial, after which users are charged £8.99 a month for the standard subscription.
Reducing emissions in Scotland - 2020 Progress Report to Parliament
From SCCAN newsletter October 2020
The Committee on Climate Change’s annual Scottish progress report, including advice on policy priorities for the Climate Change Plan update, was published on Wednesday 7 October. This is the ninth annual Progress Report to the Scottish Parliament, required under the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009. It assesses Scotland’s overall progress in achieving its legislated targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The report shows that Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions fell by 31% from 2008 to 2018. This was primarily due to action to reduce emissions in the power sector, where Scottish renewable electricity generation has tripled and fossil-fuelled generation has fallen by more than 70% in the last decade. However, greenhouse gas emissions increased by 2% in 2018, compared to a reduction of 3% in 2017.
Centre for Alternative Technology working towards Zero-Carbon Britain
TBI Convenor Julie Gibson has drawn attention to the work of the Centre for Alternative Technology, based in mid Wales, in encouraging the move towards a zero-carbon Britain by means of publications, activities and education. There is an enormous wealth of quite detailed information, but it's well worth a look. CAT's activities have been greatly curtailed by Covid-19.
Main website www.cat.org.uk
UK Decarbonisation and Economic Strategy Bill 2020
What has become known as the 'Green New Deal Bill', a Private Member's Bill sponsored by Green Party MP Caroline Lucas, received its first reading without debate in July 2020, and is due to come before Parliament for second reading on 12 March 2021.
The preamble to the bill describes it as
A Bill to place duties on the Secretary of State to decarbonise the United Kingdom economy and to reverse inequality; to establish a ten-year economic and public investment strategy in accordance with those duties which promotes a community- and employee-led transition from high-carbon to low- and zero-carbon industry; to require the Government to report on its adherence to the strategy; to establish higher environmental standards for air, water and green spaces; to make provision to protect and restore natural habitats; and for connected purposes.
Caroline Lucas wrote about the bill in The Guardian on 20 September 2019.
Another Private Member's Bill, again sponsored by Caroline Lucas and five other MPs and tabled on 20 September 2020. Of the total of 75 MPs supporting the Bill, not one is a Conservative.
What is the Bill about? The CEE Bill Alliance says
In a nutshell, the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill calls for:
- the UK to make and enact a serious plan. This means dealing with our real fair share of emissions so that we don’t go over critical global rises in temperature
- our entire carbon footprint be taken into account (in the UK and overseas)
- the protection and conservation of nature here and overseas along supply chains, recognising the damage we cause through the goods we consume
- those in power not to depend on technology to save the day, which is used as an excuse to carry on polluting as usual
- ordinary people to have a real say on the way forward in a citizens’ assembly with bite
Climate Change bill strengthened in Parliament
The Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Bill was passed by the Scottish Parliament on 25 September, after having been significantly strengthened during the parliamentary process, though insufficiently in the view of the Scottish Greens and others.
As originally tabled in May 2018 the bill increased the 2050 target for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from 80% to 90%, and proposed new targets for 2020, 2030 and 2040. No target was proposed for achieving 'net-zero' emissions. In its final form the 2050 target has been abandoned, and following advice from the UK Committee on Climate Change the government proposed a 'net-zero' target date of 2045. Labour and Lib Dem proposals to increase the original 70% reduction target for 2030 to 75% were accepted, but the Greens' attempt to increase that figure to 80% was defeated. As a result the Greens abstained in the final vote which saw the bill passed by 113 votes to 0.
BBC News report 25 September 2019
Friends of the Earth Scotland commentary by Caroline Rance.
Scottish Government Revised Explanatory Notes 10 September (PDF 20 pages)
Scottish Government Full text of the bill (PDF 32 pages).
We must change food production to save the world
The wide scope of the latest, not very widely publicised report from the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), is indicated by its formal title - 'An IPCC Special Report on climate change, desertification, land degradation, sustainable land management, food security, and greenhouse gas fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems.' (SRCCL)
The main thrust of the report is summarised in a Guardian article of 4 August 2019 by Robin McKie based on a draft of the report as stating that it will be impossible to keep global temperatures at safe levels unless there is also a transformation in the way the world produces food and manages land.
IPCC downloads page for the report. The 'Summary for Policymakers' and 'Summary of Headline Statements' are more approachable than the full report at 1,542 pages and 31Mb.
- Monday 19 April
- NA 'Carbon Conversations' workshops - Lairg & District Learning Centre
- Tuesday 20 April
- 10:00 BITT Spring Networking Event
- Thursday 22 April
- 19:30 Skye Climate Action election 2021 hustings
- Saturday 24 April
- 20:00 Resolis Community Arts - Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas
- Monday 26 April
- 14:15 Nobel Prize Summit - 'Our Planet, Our Future'
- NA 'Carbon Conversations' workshops - Lairg & District Learning Centre
- Tuesday 27 April
- 18:00 Nobel Prize Summit - 'Our Planet, Our Future'
- Wednesday 28 April
- NA Nobel Prize Summit - 'Our Planet, Our Future'
Events to add to calendar? Contact Us.
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