Climate Action Fife – project update

Climate Action Fife – is a partnership project between Greener Kirkcaldy, Fife CouncilFife College and Fife Communities Climate Action Network, working on a number of activities to tackle the climate emergency in Fife. It’s funded by The National Lottery Community Fund’s new Climate Action Fund and was the first project in Scotland to be funded by this fund last year.

It’s a Fife-wide cross-sector project that brings together individuals, communities, local government and businesses to pilot a range of activities to build capacity in communities across Fife to take action on climate change, engage people from all backgrounds and sectors, tackle carbon emissions and deliver ambitious longer-term plans. The project will run until March 2022.

We officially launched the project in January 2021, with our launch video:

Climate Action Fife is a pilot project, aiming to test a variety of different ideas to engage people in Fife and tackle the climate emergency. We will use the pilot project to design follow up projects and activities for the future. The pilot centres around ten key activities, all of which will take place across Fife:

1. Climate change engagement toolkit and events

The project will produce a ‘climate change toolkit and resource library’, with guidance for people from different sectors (from public sector organisations, to community groups, businesses, schools and colleges) on how to communicate climate change and resources that anyone can use to plan and run awareness events with their audiences. This will be supported by ‘Communicating Climate Change’ training. We realise climate change can be a difficult topic to understand and communicate – there’s so much different information out there and the terminology can be a challenge. We want to make it easy for people to get everything they need to raise awareness and spread the word about the climate emergency (and how we can all tackle it) in one place.

We’re trialling the toolkit and resources with variety of events for different audiences across Fife – talks, practical workshops, film nights, climate conversation, family workshops, interactive lessons for schools, wild walks, cooking demos… there’s something for everyone.

2. ‘Climate know-how’

We’re creating a Fife Climate Literacy course which will be accredited by The Carbon Literacy Project. This will be a Fife-specific training course on the science behind the Climate Emergency, along with local information, context and actions we can take to tackle it. We will tailor it to Fife, taking into account the values and priorities of the people who live here, and making it relevant to their everyday lives. It will be action-orientated and help people move from theory to practice. There’ll be a course for public sector organisations, a course for community groups, a public course and we’re exploring a course for young people too.

3. Climate-friendly businesses

We’re working with small and medium sized businesses, community buildings and third sector organisations to help them reduce their energy use and waste, especially food waste. We’re also exploring the idea of a Fife Climate-friendly business awards or accreditation scheme with the aim of promoting and normalising good practice.

Growing plants

4. Climate-friendly homes and gardens

Our community tell us that even when people want to tackle climate change, they can lack the knowledge or confidence to make changes to their homes. We’re offering home energy advice on how people can make their homes more efficient, change how they use their energy, and consider home renewables or green tariffs, to reduce their carbon footprint. We’ll also give people tips and advice to make their gardens more climate-friendly and climate-ready through a programme of climate-friendly garden workshops.

Iain demo

5. Climate-friendly food

Through its production, distribution and disposal, food has a great impact on climate change. Everyone eats, and we believe everyone can make a difference through their food choices. We’re running a programme of workshops to help households learn cooking skills so they can:

  • Reduce food waste
  • Choose local, seasonal food
  • Eat more plant based meals and reduce meat and dairy

We’re also planning a cross-sector Climate-friendly Food Summit, bringing together everyone working on food in Fife to share best practice, identify gaps, opportunities and areas for improvement, and encourage partnership working to tackle food waste issues in Fife. Finally, Fife College students will take part in a ‘Chefs of the Future’ competition to develop a tasty and nutritious climate-friendly, plant-based, menu.

6. Climate-friendly holidays

We’re working with Fife College students to plan a programme of talks, workshops and events encouraging alternatives to domestic and international air travel. (In non-covid times), transport accounts for 37% of Scottish emissions; Aviation contributes 15% of this. We want to show people options to change the way they travel, i.e. use the train or ferry instead of flying, and promote the amazing opportunities for ‘staycations’ in Scotland and the UK.

7. Solar energy feasibility study

We’re researching the technical and financial feasibility of a new Fife community renewable energy project. We’re learning from the successful Edinburgh Solar Cooperative Cooperative, to see if there’s potential for a similar project in Fife.

8. Community tree-planting strategy

Feedback from our community has identified a real appetite for community tree-planting. We’re developing a community tree planting strategy, guidance and training package to identify areas suitable for tree planting in Fife, set targets for community tree planting and support communities to understand and plant the right trees. We’ll trial this guidance in a number of communities across Fife.

Climate Action Fife - Cyclists

9. Fife community cycling manifesto

We’re carrying out a community-led study to identify the gaps, opportunities and priorities for commuting by bicycle in Fife and will use this to create a ‘Fife community cycling manifesto’. We would like to give our community the opportunity to voice their opinions on cycling in Fife, say where cycle routes would be most useful and tell us what would support them to cycle more. We’ll use this to report community need back to Fife Council and design future community-led cycling activities to support people in Fife to cycle more.

10. Supporting community climate action

Fife already has a strong community environmental sector. Community groups have an important role to play in inspiring and facilitating action and we want to support more community groups to do this. Three of FCCAN’s members – CLEAR Buckhaven & MethilEATS Rosyth and PLANT will be delivering some of the activities, sharing their learning and producing resources for others to use.

Later in the year, we’ll be launching a new small grants scheme. This will be open to any community group in Fife to apply for a small grant to trial climate change engagement activities in their community. More information will be coming about this soon. Finally, we’re currently identifying the places in Fife where there is no community climate change activity. We want to work with people and groups in these areas, inspire and support them to take action.

Young people

As can be seen by the youth movement over the last couple of years, young people are key to tackling the climate emergency. We’re starting a Fife young people climate group who will design innovative and unique activities to engage with their peers in university, college, schools, youth groups and clubs. Fife College students have already started helping to develop the project – designing our project logo!

Get involved

There will be lots of opportunities for organisations, workplaces, businesses, groups and people to get involved in the project – from taking part in workshops or getting face-to-face advice to pledging to take climate action. We’ll also be sharing our journey and progress throughout the project through blogs, social media (follow the hashtag #ClimateActionFife), events, stories to the local press and more. We’re working with Fife College students to design a new website for the project to map action in Fife and help us share our journey.

Watch this space for more information!

To find out more about the project now, view our interim website or search for the hashtag #ClimateActionFife on social media.

We want to make sure we’re engaging with everyone – all audiences, sectors, demographics in Fife. If you or your group, organisation, business, workplace, would like to get involved in any of the project activities, please email Project Coordinator, Lauren Parry on lauren@greenerkirkcaldy.org.uk.

Climate Action Fife is funded by The Climate Action Fund – The newest fund from the National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK. The new fund aims to enable people and communities to take the lead in tackling the climate emergency by building a network of people and communities, well-placed to drive change, between and beyond their community.

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