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November 1, 2011

A framework for action?

The Climate Challenge Fund has been a great success. Many community projects have been funded with impressive results on the ground.  But it has not all been plain sailing. For the past year, a few folk have been working on an initiative to pull together much of the experience gained so far. The hope is that if this ‘framework’ can be made to work it might help to avoid the pitfalls of the past and spread more widely the knowledge of what works well.  A big gathering is planned for next month

On behalf of the Scottish Government and Keep Scotland Beautiful we would like to invite you to attend the Climate Challenge Fund Gathering, which is taking place on the 24 & 25 November 2011 at the Hilton Grosvenor Hotel in Glasgow.

Hosted by the Scottish Government and Keep Scotland Beautiful this annual event brings together communities from across Scotland and looks at ways to support more sustainable living. This year the Gathering focuses on enhancing your projects’ performance by looking at the review of the CCF and a Framework for Community Action on Climate Change.

The event is open to anyone from a community tackling climate change and promoting more sustainable lifestyles, and organisations supporting these communities. It is fully funded by the Climate Challenge Fund so there is no cost to attendees. The event has been extremely well attended in the past and we anticipate a high level of interest again this year.

How to register

To register, please visit the event website   


About the Framework

Many community groups throughout Scotland have embarked on exciting projects to mobilise local action on climate change and other causes. There have been many remarkable and inspiring successes….but it hasn’t always been plain sailing. 

The ‘Framework’ initiative aims to identify and address the barriers to community action, so as to create a more fertile setting for communities to contribute to a low carbon future, and promote local resilience and wellbeing. The first phase of the initiative, involving consultations with 40+ interested parties, has identified a list of 14 barriers which need to be addressed as a priority. 

The ambition for the second phase is to get on with addressing these barriers, with the help of key organisations, and collectively create an enormously valuable ‘framework’ of advice, help, encouragement, learning opportunities, and improved conditions for community groups to make effective partnership with others.

The opportunity now arises for the community sector itself to take a leading role in this second phase.

The Background

The idea of a ‘Framework’ of this kind came from a paper circulated widely by Rachel Nunn and Simon Pepper in May 2010, and a subsequent meeting of interested parties in Stirling in July 2010.  A small group comprising delegates from that meeting have been developing the Framework, and have prepared a report highlighting an initial list of 21 strategic barriers to effective community action on climate change.  The large volume of broadly supportive feedback to this report, from those engaged in the low carbon agenda across Scotland, was summarised in a Response report, leading to a final list of 14 priority barriers.

The work to date has been undertaken by a small steering group, using their good offices on behalf of the sector as a whole, basing their findings on evidence from a wide range of sources.  Their analysis of barriers has gained support and interest within government, communities and organisations, some of whom have adopted it as an agenda for their own efforts to improve support for communities. Indeed, some have already got exciting progress to report, for which this site is offered as a means of sharing news and views.

Could the ‘community sector’ itself take ownership of the Framework going forward? There would perhaps need to be a small group of community group leaders willing to take the lead.  This will be up for discussion at the Climate Challenge Fund Gathering (24/25 November), which will focus on findings of both the recent review of the CCF by BrookLyndhurst consultancy and the Framework initiative.

What are the advantages of ‘community sector’ leadership in driving forward the development of the Framework? Views gathered so far suggest that this is the model which would secure the best buy-in from all potential partners; the sector has first-hand knowledge of its own needs and experience of the barriers; all other sectors acknowledge the role of communities, but none has their interests in this area at the top of its agenda; and the community sector has distinguished itself as a repository of outstanding resources of energy and enthusiasm. 

If you have thoughts on any of the above, get yourself along to the Gathering on 24/25th November.