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December 16, 2009

A vital role in tackling climate change

The Scottish Government has been widely praised for taking the lead in setting the most ambitious targets in the world for the reduction of carbon emissions. Last week, it began setting out how it plans to achieve these targets.  If the composition of the new 2020 Delivery Group is anything to go by, it appears that the Scottish Government has completely overlooked the potential contribution that communities can make.  LPL has written to the First Minister pointing out this omission

Dear First Minister

Communities have a key role to play

The ambitious targets contained in the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 have propelled Scotland to the fore in terms of how and what countries must do in order to tackle the global challenge of climate change.  And now, with the publication of the Climate Change Adaptation Framework, we have a mechanism to drive forward a programme of actions.

However we are very concerned that the Adaptation Framework appears to seriously underestimate the crucial first step in tackling climate change – namely harnessing the potential of communities to drive the required changes in behaviours and attitudes at a local level and to provide the necessary local traction for national policy implementation.

In particular, this weakness is reflected in the composition of the recently formed 2020 Delivery Group where there is not one voice that could realistically be described as coming from the community sector. The collective memberships of our combined networks currently extend to well over 1,400 different communities across Scotland, many of which are already directly involved in action to reduce carbon emissions. 

We believe that there is enormous potential from within the community sector to increase the scale and scope of this contribution in the future.  However this potential can only be fulfilled if the community sector’s contribution is formally acknowledged and supported by government. Therefore we urge you to give proper consideration, as a first step, to adjusting the membership of the new 2020 Delivery Group so that it reflects the key role that communities have to play in this crucial area of activity.

Yours sincerely

Angus Hardie (Director)
Local People Leading –
the campaign for a strong and independent community sector
On behalf of:
Community Energy Scotland
Community Recycling Network for Scotland
Community Retailing Network
Community Woodlands Association
Community Transport Association Scotland
Development Trusts Association Scotland
EVH- Supporting social employers
Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens
Glasgow and West of Scotland Forum of Housing Associations
Holyrood 350
Scottish Allotments And Gardens Society
Scottish League Of Credit Unions
Time Banking Scotland
Transition Scotland Support

The 2020 Delivery Group members are:
• Ian Marchant, Chief Executive, Scottish and Southern Energy
• Richard Ackroyd, Chief Executive, Scottish Water
• Lesley Ballantyne, Chief Executive, John Lewis Partnership Glasgow
• Prof Jan Bebbington, Vice Chair, Sustainable Development Commission, Scotland
• Jo Bucci, Chief Executive, People’s Postcode Lottery
• Brendan Dick, Director, BT Scotland (represented on December 8 by Anna Steven)
• Dr Campbell Gemmell, Chief Executive, Scottish Environment Protection Agency
• Gordon Grant, Grangemouth Works General Manager, INEOS
• Ronnie Hinds, Chief Executive, Fife Council
• Nick Horler, Chief Executive, ScottishPower
• Graham Hutcheon, Operations Director, Edrington Group
• Josh Kane, Scottish Youth Parliament (represented on December 8 by Iain Fleming)
• David Lee, freelance writer and media consultant
• John Mason, Director, Climate Change & Water Industry, Scottish Government
• Ian McKay, Scottish Director, Royal Mail Group
• Dr Simon Pepper, climate change adviser
• Lady Susan Rice, Managing Director, Lloyds Banking Group Scotland
• Mike Robinson, Chairperson, Stop Climate Chaos Scotland
• Nicola Shaw, Managing Director, FirstGroup
• Grahame Smith, General Secretary, STUC (unable to attend on December 8)
• Brian Souter, Chief Executive, Stagecoach
• Michael Tracey, Managing Director, William Tracey Ltd
• James Withers, Chief Executive, NFU Scotland
• Jane Wood, Chief Executive, Scottish Business in the Community

The working remit for the 2020 group, to be discussed at today’s meeting, is to:
• build on the work of the Climate Change Business Delivery Group and other climate change alliances to provide strong, visible leadership to Scotland’s business and non-governmental communities to inspire them to do more to reduce carbon emissions
• help drive innovation through partnerships and synergies between members
• advise on, and aim to make early progress towards, achievement of the outcomes and targets of the Climate

Change Delivery Plan
• identify relevant action and opportunities, and collaborate, to bring benefits to the Scottish economy
• identify where the group can best target its resources and expertise to accelerate the development, investment and action required across the following areas: Heat, Electricity, Waste, Transport, Rural land use & forestry, Consumer behaviour & attitudes