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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Voluntary sector can rise to challenges posed by climate emergency

This news post is about 1 year old

A discussion on how organisations can support the just transition to net zero took place as part of COP26

Representatives from Scotland’s voluntary sector gathered this morning (Monday 8 November) to discuss how to drive the transition to net zero.

The role of non-environmental charities in the just transition to net zero event took place at Scotland’s Climate Ambition Zone as part of COP26 in Glasgow.

The event saw a discussion around what role the sector can have in helping Scotland and the planet in its bid to move towards net zero, and what support organisations need to take action and shape policy.

The session was held by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) in conjunction with the Scottish Government, and featured finalists from the Climate Conscious category of this year’s Scottish Charity Awards.

SCVO chief executive Anna Fowlie welcomed panellists and the audience to the organisation’s first in-person event in 18 months.

She said: “For the past 18 months we’ve all had a pretty tough time. The immediate challenges of the pandemic have crowded out other issues.

“It is essential we all play our part now in addressing the climate emergency. This event is just the start of our journey to net zero.”

Shona Robison MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Housing and Local Government, praised voluntary sector organisations for their response to coronavirus, and said this resilience will be vital in the fight against climate change.

“The resilience displayed by the third sector during this time has shown that you are willing to rise to the challenge, and we’re going to need this in the drive to achieve net zero,” she said.

“The Scottish Government recognises the vital role that you play, and we want to work with you as a key partner to take forward Scotland’s recovery and renewal.”

Sarah McArthur detailed how the Climate 2050 Group is working to create the young leaders of the future, who place climate action at the heart of what they do. The charity has empowered more than 500 people through its Young Leaders Programme, and 50 people in Malawi, since it was founded in 2014.

McArthur stressed the importance of considering the ethics of climate change in making decisions. She said: “We believe very strongly as an established environmental charity in Scotland that climate justice needs to be integrated into every single decision that is made around climate change.”

Anne-Marie Clements of R:evolve Recycle presented on the charity’s work to support communities to repair and remaster old clothes, with fast fashion having a negative impact on the planet.

“Much of our work is based around the stories and experiences of older people. People used to know how to fix their clothes, but now a lot of younger people just throw their clothes away, especially as clothing is so cheap.”

Jacqui Winning spoke about Forth Valley Sensory Centre’s award-winning work to help deaf and blind people learn and discuss climate change.

She highlighted information on climate change is not always accessible, with jargon a particular issue as it is difficult for interpreters to describe, and news stories about climate change can be scary if they are not properly described to those with sensory issues.

Winning said it is vital that communities are not forgotten in the move to net zero. She said: “As the world heats up, we need to make sure we don’t leave anyone out in the cold.”

The panel held a discussion with members of the audience around how the sector can support the drive to net zero, with a particular focus on partnership and what funders can do to help organisations take leading action.

An online event, Tackling the climate crisis, will be held by SCVO and ACOSVO on 18 November



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