Alness and Invergordon selected to feature in new Climate Action Towns Project

An aerial view of Alness in Easter Ross

Alness and Invergordon have been selected as one of Scotland’s first Climate Action Towns.

The initiative is a Scottish Government funded project delivered by Architecture and Design Scotland, Scotland’s design agency, and is aimed at supporting towns to tackle the impact of the climate emergency.

The announcement was made by Richard Lochhead, Minister for Just Transition on 7 November.

The Climate Action Towns project will work with local people and organisations in small towns across Scotland to empower and support communities to take place-based climate action.

They will do this in a way that takes account of the unique challenges and opportunities each town faces.

Chair of the Easter Ross Area Committee, Cllr Fiona Robertson, said: “We welcome the opportunity for Alness and Invergordon to take part in this project. The two towns were identified based on their local need to adapt to climate change risk.

“Addressing climate change is something that we all have a part to play in and I have no doubt that both these communities will come together during this project with innovative ideas to build up resilience to the effects of climate change.”

Minister for Just Transition Richard Lochhead said: “We all have a part to play in tackling the climate emergency. The Climate Action Towns project aims to support and empower communities to have a say on how their local area should change as part of a fair and just transition to net zero.

“I look forward to seeing how the towns that are taking part rise to the challenge and find ways that will not only make a difference locally but to Scotland and indeed the world.”

Jim MacDonald, Chief Executive of A&DS said:  “The climate emergency demands urgent action from us all.

“For Scotland to adapt to the impacts of climate change, we are all going to need to work together to adapt the ways we live, work, play and move in our cities, towns and villages. Considering that half of Scotland’s population live in towns, it is vital towns are a key focus in the fight against climate change.”

In addition to Alness and Invergordon, the towns involved in the Climate Action Towns project are:

  • West Lothian - Blackburn
  • Argyll & Bute - Campbeltown
  • North Ayrshire - Stevenston
  • North Lanarkshire - Holytown
  • Dumfries and Galloway - Annan

The Climate Change Committee (CCC) – the UK’s independent adviser on tackling climate change – has estimated that over 60% of the changes needed to reach net zero will be, at least in part, behavioural or societal.

For this reason, Climate Action Towns is focusing on the power of ‘place-based’ action, which can include a wide spectrum of approaches: from the creation of resilient food networks; to the adoption of the 20-minute neighbourhood by place planning; to the creation of community renewable energy co-operatives; right down to simple principles like whether we choose to build new buildings or refurbish and adapt existing ones.

The Climate Action Towns work will build on and be informed by the Eight Principles of a Carbon Conscious Place. Developed by Architecture & Design Scotland, the Eight Principles offer illustrated examples to help guide and inspire people to support a whole-place approach when responding to the climate emergency.

The project will be driven by collaboration between local people and agencies, and their collective vision of what their Climate Ready Town looks like. The outcome of the work with the towns will be used to outline learning for inclusive climate action at a town scale that can then be applied in places across Scotland and beyond.

9 Nov 2021