Arran’s eco credentials praised at climate event

Jude King of Arran Eco Savvy addresses the audience at the Scottish Government Climate Change Plan Update event.

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Jude King, project manager of Arran Eco Savvy Scottish government funded projects, was invited to contribute to discussions at the Scottish government Climate Change Plan update event which will help in the formulation of the plan aimed at reducing emissions between now and 2032.

Using workable solutions with Arran as an example, Jude also spoke to the audience about the work of the Arran community that is delivering climate action and effectively reducing carbon emissions through attitude and behavioural change.

The event updated attendees on the latest changes to the plan which has been updated to reflect the increased ambition of of the new targets set in the Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Act 2019.

After the welcome and opening remarks from Kersti Berg, director of energy and climate change, the audience was given an update on what the Scottish Government has done since the Paris agreement on the climate emergency.

The event included two workshop discussion sessions to talk about the challenges of the different sectors, waste, energy, agriculture, industry, transport and land use. In the afternoon Jude presented along with three other guest speakers from SEPA, Changeworks and Edinburgh Council.

SEPA discussed their work supporting businesses with legislation and the inevitable further environmental clampdown on commercial organisations. Changeworks showcased how their organisation has lowered their carbon footprint through efficient energy and sustainable travel and Edinburgh Council discussed their target to be net-zero by 2030.

Jude spoke about Arran Eco Savvy’s food, waste, travel, energy and climate literacy projects and the successes and challenges of these with specific focus given to the energy efficiency achievements. Jude also discussed at length the challenges of a lack of active travel infrastructure – challenging the Scottish Government to meet climate aware and educated communities with investment in plans, policy and actions that answer the climate emergency.

So far, with the help of Scottish Government funding, Arran Eco Savvy’s project team have helped residents save a total of 1,052 tonnes of CO2 equivalent. These savings have been made largely through locals changing the way they heat their homes and consume energy, travel, and eat.

Jude said: ‘It was fantastic to have this opportunity to engage with Scottish Government to inform and attempt to influence some of the environmental challenges and obstacles specific to Arran, many of which are parallel to challenges faced across Scotland and globally.

‘In order to normalise low to zero carbon attitudes and behaviours, adequate financial investment and prioritisation of sustainable solutions, programmes (such as active travel infrastructure) are needed so low carbon alternatives are the most appealing to the vast majority. It could be argued that due to a lack of this currently we are leaving the climate crisis battle to the small minority of highly motivated individuals that prioritise the environment before factors such as cost and convenience.

‘On a more positive note, Arran Eco Savvy Sustainable Island Life project team is hosting Arran Spring Fest which will be a celebration of sustainability and climate action on Arran, through local food, eBikes, music and much more. The event will take place at the exciting venue of Balmichael Glamping, Shiskine on Saturday  March 21 from 12-4pm and everyone is welcome.’

‘Finally, thank you to all who have actively participated in our projects so far and have supported environmental improvement and protection on Arran. If we continue to advance and build on this we can surely be a beacon for the rest of Scotland.’

Eco Savvy project manager Jude King.

Jude King of Arran Eco Savvy addresses the audience at the Scottish government Climate Change Plan update event. No_B09climate01

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