Fife’s climate action plan – have your say

Fife Council is seeking your feedback!  The  Council has published its draft Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan (SECAP) and wants to hear what you think.

They are consulting on the draft ‘Climate Fife’ plan until 9 December 2019.  Feedback will be used to update the plan for publication in February 2020.

You can take part online at climatechange.fife.scot. The SECAP document is accompanied by a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Environmental Report which you can comment on too.

SECAP diagram

Image: Fife Council http://www.fife.gov.uk

We encourage all Fife folk who are concerned about climate change to read the draft climate plan and share their feedback with the Council. The draft climate plan sets the direction of Council policy and action for the next ten years so it needs to reflect the urgency of the situation we face.

We also suggest going a step further – write to, message, or even better, speak to your local Councillors too. You can find their contact details on www.fife.gov.uk.

Tell them how important climate change is to you, your community and future generations. Councillors are elected to represent us – their constituents – and they are more likely to support strong action on climate change if they know how important this is to us.

Posted in climate action | Leave a comment

Climate change – what can we do about it?

Climate change has been all over the news this summer. There’s been extreme weather at home and worse in other parts of the world. In a novel effort to raise concerns, Greta Thunberg sailed to New York for a UN climate summit. Fires raged in the Amazon. And – some positive news that got a bit lost in the Brexit chaos last week – a bold commitment from the Scottish Government to end Scotland’s contribution to climate change by 2045.

It is clear that climate change is an emergency. Most people now accept the need for action. But it can also feel a bit overwhelming and it can be hard to know where to start.

Fife Communities Climate Action Network is a network of community organisations in Fife all of which are taking action on Climate Change. Our members are charities and volunteer groups who do amazing work in their communities. There are community fridges tackling food waste, an advice service helping people cut their energy use, projects encouraging people to grow their own food, and much more.  If you are not already involved with one of these organisations, please join or support your nearest one.

We can also do a lot as individuals. We can make changes to our lifestyle and shopping choices, and we can lobby our governments to take action at a national and international level.

Here are some of our ideas

Are you worried about deforestation and the fires burning in the Amazon? We all should be – the Amazon is a huge global sink of carbon dioxide as well as being home to many peoples and truly amazing biodiversity. Most of the fires are manmade, deliberately started, driven by expanding agriculture; namely cattle-grazing and crops like soy that are grown to feed livestock.

1270px-Fires_in_Brazil_(48594167912)

Fires in Brazil – photo NASA CC BY 2.0

There are two key things we can all do about this.

The first is political – you can join, or donate to, a party or a campaigning organisation that makes climate change a priority. Groups like Friends of the Earth, WWF and others urge governments to take action.

Second, think twice before buying beef. Avoid any beef from Brazil, as a start – but it is more complicated than that. UK pigs and dairy cows are often fed with imported soy, and meat/dairy production is also responsible for high levels of direct greenhouse gas emissions.  The sustainability of food is complicated. As ethical consumers we try to support local producers, avoid plastic packaging and reduce food waste, all the while trying to keep our families healthy and happy. The evidence is clear though – if we want to help tackle climate change, one of the most effective actions we can take is to reduce meat and dairy.

Now tell us your ideas

What do you think people should do about climate change?  We would love to hear what you think.  Please leave comments on our social media pages or email us with your ideas.

Posted in climate action, Opinion | Leave a comment

September network event at The Ecology Centre, Kinghorn

Our next network event will be at The Ecology Centre, Kinghorn. It will take place 2pm – 4pm on Friday 13th September 2019.

Come and see the beautiful site and the new Ecology Centre building which is built to passivhaus standard and using natural, recycled or recyclable materials where possible. A key feature is the use of old shipping containers, refurbished and insulated to provide workshop and storage space.

There will also be speakers – Fife Council’s Biodiversity Coordinator Johanna Willi will give a talk on local biodiversity along with one of the Ecology Centre’s volunteers. We will also hear from Kinghorn Community Land Association about their plans for an eco-cemetery.

Book your place now

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Towards a Plastic Free St Andrews – Official Launch!

unnamed
Community action against plastic in St Andrews! We’re delighted to share this invitation:
Come along to the launch of the Plastic Free St Andrews project & find out all about the project as well as how you can get involved. 
There will be several talks/ presentations on the day as well as information on how you can switch from plastic to more sustainable materials.

The event will run from 10am – 6pm so feel free to pop in at anytime – we look forward to seeing you there! 

The event will be taking place on Jun 29, 2019 at 10:00 AM. 

The event location is St Marys Place, St Andrews.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Towards a Plastic Free Fife – summary of our March 2019 networking meeting

Fife Communities Climate Action Network’s March 2019 networking meeting was held at the Kernel Community workshop in the St Andrews Botanic Garden.

Over 25 people from various groups across Fife expressed their concern shown towards the levels of plastic pollution covering every part of the planet and discussed action.  Many groups are organising beach cleans, litter picks and helping to deal with the waste in the environment. Crucially though, groups are now turning towards prevention of plastic waste through offering alternatives and campaigning for local action.

Sustainable Cupar ran a plastic straw replacement drive where they offered local businesses replacement biodegradable straws to replace plastic. The press received was used to highlight the issue and raise concern whist a number of businesses switched or ended offering straws without request completely.

The Plastic Free Anstruther team shared their successes of building up awareness through beach cleans and aligning themselves with the Surfers Against Sewage Plastic Free framework. This was followed by dialogue with local businesses in order to prompt them to offer plastic free alternatives.

In St Andrews a coalition of community groups (Community Council, StANDEN, Transition UStA) are working with the University and Fife Council on bottom up and top down actions. This includes education of new and existing residents of St Andrews, engaging business and running projects in local schools. Actions included beach / burn cleans (group and individual), town wide re-usable cup and establishment of a charter/award scheme for business whilst seeking to set up public water fountains. An ambitious target of eradicating single use-packaging was being sought after surveying business to understand the issues whilst supporting changes and encouraging suppliers to take back waste. The University already has a target to eliminate plastic by 2022.

A real struggle was felt to be with Fife Council Education department which continues to prioritise plastic within a lot of its school canteens despite much protest from kids, parents and within the council itself.

A short workshop identified areas where more collaboration across Fife could be beneficial including organising a Fife wide re-usable cup, plastic free status and rewards for businesses scheme and more engagement/ dialogue with Fife Council on the main sources of single use plastics including within Council facilities.

Next steps? To be kept in touch, please watch this space, Contact Us to get added to our email list, or join our Facebook group to discuss these issues with other Fife community groups.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Towards a Plastic Free Fife – FCCAN Networking Event

52024160_10156985289262103_1924589555600588800_nOur quarterly networking event will be taking place in St Andrews on Monday 25th March from 6pm til 8pm. You will have a chance to hear from local Fife groups and experts who have been working on projects aimed at tackling plastic waste. We will hear short talks on prevention, re-use and litter picking as well as share our experiences of dealing with plastic waste in our communities. With much interest being focused on how communities can help prevent plastics from getting into the environment we are keen to understand what opportunities there are to reducing plastic consumption and reducing its impact in our local environment and globally.

Please feel free to share this invite among other groups in Fife working to tackle climate change.

Venue: The Kernel Workshop, St Andrews Botanic Garden

Agenda for the evening:
6pm to 6.30pm – Food, refreshments and a tour of the Garden and Kernel
6.30 Welcome and Introductions
6.45 Presentation on Plastic Free St Andrews
7.00 Zero Waste Presentation
7.15 Workshop – Exploring the opportunities and issues of creating a plastic free communities
Forming partnerships across Fife. Are there any joint issues or ideas for work across Fife?
7.45 Plenary
7.50 FCCAN update
Fife council liaison – Fife Environment Partnership
Steering group
Scottish Communities Climate Action Network
8.00 Close

The access for the Kernel is from Viaduct walk (by foot/bike) or James Street/Wallace Street.

Tickets via https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/fife-communities-climate-action-network-9869079332

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Smart Energy Systems and Communities – next steps

Fife Communities Climate Action Network recently hosted a workshop with Community Energy Scotland, a national charity that supports people to make the most of local energy resources, on the topic of “Smart Energy Systems and Communities”.

There was a good turn-out, with 28 people coming along. Gillian Wilson, Community Energy Scotland’s Head of Development, introduced us to ‘Smart Energy’ and gave us a useful presentation on the opportunities and challenges that the coming changes to our energy systems might bring for community groups. We then had an interesting discussion about what that could mean in Fife, including what we should learn from previous and current energy initiatives.

You can see Gillian’s slides here – Fife Smart Energy session Sep 2018 . You can find out more about Community Energy Scotland’s on their website and your community group can also become a member – its free of charge.

So, what next?

Some groups at the event felt that they should just keep an eye on how this agenda develops. Others were inspired to want to learn more, and see what projects we could come up with locally.  Community Energy Scotland have some limited funding to work with community groups, building organisational capacity and supporting local action on smart energy.  This support could help your organisation and local people in your area to get ready for smart energy and for some of the opportunities and challenges Gillian outlined in her session. Any groups who would like more information on this follow up support, should get in touch with Gillian Wilson on  Gillian.wilson@communityenergyscotland.org.uk.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

My Climate Changes consultation event – Kirkcaldy, 24 September 2018

My Climate Changes

Monday 24 September 6pm – 8pm

New Volunteer House, 16 East Fergus Place, Kirkcaldy, KY1 1XT

The Scottish Parliament is holding a community event in Kirkcaldy to explore the Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Bill. This is a great opportunity for people in Fife to find out more, share their thoughts on how it might have an impact, and help shape the Bill. Members of the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee will be present to explain the Bill as well as Stewart Stevenson MSP, and Mark Ruskell MSP. We’re supporting the Scottish Parliament by encouraging our members, networks and community to come along to the event. Everyone is welcome but you must book a place. A light buffet will be served at 5.30pm.

Find out more or book your place.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Smart Energy Systems and Communities event in Methil

Thursday 13th September 2018, 6.30-8.30pm at Fife Renewables Innovation Centre.

communicating-climate-change

Greener Kirkcaldy and Fife Communities Climate Action Network are hosting a “Smart Energy Systems and Communities” workshop with Community Energy Scotland, a national charity that supports people to make the most of local energy resources. We want to raise awareness of the changes that are coming to our energy systems – from smart meters and demand-side response to energy storage and low-carbon vehicles – and to support local community organisations to take advantage of the opportunities that will arise.

As a first step, we are running this briefing and networking session for local groups to provide some information on the changes that are coming and to consult you on the kinds of support you would value. We’re inviting community groups and stakeholders in Levenmouth and across Fife.

The workshop will take place on Thursday 13th September 2018, 6.30-8.30pm at Fife Renewables Innovation Centre, Ajax Way, Lower Methil, KY8 3RS.

To book your place: sign up via our Eventbrite page.

For a map and directions to Fife Renewables Innovation Centre, see https://goo.gl/maps/rK6RvQjRQxS2 .

Posted in climate action, Events | Leave a comment

Help shape Fife’s Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan

Get involved – come along to a workshop this August to help shape Fife’s Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan.

Climate and energy are the defining challenges of our times. Recognising this challenge, Fife Council signed the Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy this year and reaffirmed their commitment to Scotland’s Climate Change Declaration.

Becoming a Covenant of Mayors signatory commits Fife Council to submit a ‘Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan’. The ambition for Fife is to work towards the proposed next target 56% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2040 and enhance mitigation and adaptation measures. The Plan will set out actions that positively impact upon the lives of everyone in Fife, regardless of their background. These actions are being decided on by Fife Council, external partners, businesses and the people of Fife.

There will be 2 workshops this August for local community groups to contribute to the Action plan:

Cupar: Thursday 16th August 2018, 6pm for networking & refreshments; 6:30 – 9pm workshop. Venue: St Johns Church Hall, 77 Bonnygate, Cupar, Fife, KY15 4LG. 

Kirkcaldy: Thursday 23rd August 2018, 6-8.30pm workshop with refreshments. Venue: small hall at St Bryce Kirk Centre, St. Brycedale Avenue, Kirkcaldy, KY1 1ET.

Please email Carolynm.bell@refsol.co.uk to book a place – remember to say whether you will be coming to the Cupar or the Kirkcaldy workshop .

Posted in climate action, Events | Leave a comment