Author Archives: graham

RSE Inquiry Report Facing up to Climate Change: breaking the barriers to a low-carbon Scotland launched

“Scotland, with its rich renew­able resources, world class research base, exper­i­ence in the oil and gas industry and lead­ing fin­an­cial insti­tu­tions, has much to gain from the move to a low-car­bon soci­ety. We’re on the verge of a new form of indus­tri­al revolu­tion and Scotland could bene­fit from nov­el eco­nom­ic oppor­tun­it­ies, increased energy secur­ity and bet­ter use of resources to build stronger, more sus­tain­able com­munit­ies” com­ments Professor David Sugden, Chair of the RSE’s Inquiry.
Facing up to Climate Change: break­ing the bar­ri­ers to a low-car­bon Scotland iden­ti­fies the obstacles that are stop­ping us from tak­ing steps towards a low-car­bon soci­ety. It recog­nises that there is a wealth of activ­ity at EU, UK and Scottish level, includ­ing in loc­al author­it­ies, com­munit­ies, house­holds and civil soci­ety, but that there is an acute need for coher­ence and integ­ra­tion between these levels.
The Inquiry Report, launched on 1 March 2011, sets out 10 Primary Recommendations aimed at help­ing policy makers to design policy in such a way that it over­comes the bar­ri­ers. It calls for gov­ern­ment and organ­isa­tions to embed low-car­bon policies across all func­tions and for closer engage­ment between people, civil soci­ety, mar­ket and state.
This Report is the res­ult of an extens­ive con­sulta­tion pro­cess across Scotland dur­ing which evid­ence was taken from over 110 pub­lic, private and third sec­tor organ­isa­tions, as well as from around 40 indi­vidu­als, a num­ber of pub­lic meet­ings around Scotland, involving some 400 people, and a nation­al Schools’ Competition. It has been for­mu­lated by a Committee chaired by Professor Sugden, an inter­na­tion­ally renowned cli­mate sci­ent­ist based at Edinburgh University, with mem­bers whose expert­ise cov­ers the nat­ur­al and social sci­ences, busi­ness, policy and education.
The Report con­siders the issues of cli­mate change, sus­tain­ab­il­ity and oppor­tun­it­ies for cre­at­ing a more sus­tain­able, fairer world. It looks at the sci­ence of cli­mate change and its implic­a­tions at both a glob­al and Scottish scale and out­lines the eco­nom­ic, social and envir­on­ment­al con­texts that will shape Scotland’s move to a low-car­bon future. The Report then focuses on the find­ings of the Inquiry and the implic­a­tions for Scotland, look­ing first to pub­lic bod­ies (loc­al author­it­ies, edu­ca­tion, water), then to key eco­nom­ic sec­tors (fin­ance, energy, oth­er industry, heat­ing, trans­port and land use).
Finally the Report looks at the per­vas­ive chal­lenges arising from multi-level gov­ernance and how they may be addressed. It is this ana­lys­is that forms the basis of our ten Primary Recommendations, and sets out also 30 Supplementary Recommendations aimed at policy makers in the spe­cif­ic  sec­tors out­lined above.
The Summary Report can be down­loaded here (2.16Mb)

The Full Report (low res) can be down­loaded here (6.40Mb)

Ten Primary Recommendations of the Report
1. The UK Government should urgently improve the infra­struc­ture and man­age­ment of the elec­tri­city grid in Scotland to optim­ise the devel­op­ment of renew­able energy and to per­mit the export of sur­plus renew­able energy.
2. The Scottish and UK Governments need to ret­ro­fit exist­ing reg­u­la­tion to achieve a bal­ance with the need to reduce car­bon emissions.
3. The Scottish Government should work with loc­al author­it­ies and busi­nesses to align and sharpen reg­u­la­tion in order to achieve a step change in energy effi­ciency in build­ings and transport.
4. The Scottish Government and loc­al author­it­ies should jointly intro­duce truly integ­rated polices in order to achieve effect­ive reduc­tions in emis­sions at a region­al level.
5. The Scottish Government should devel­op a spa­tially-ref­er­enced nation­al land use plan integ­rated with region­al stra­tegic plans in order to optim­ise car­bon sequestration
6. The fin­ance industry should take a lead and work with gov­ern­ment to cre­ate the busi­ness envir­on­ment that will mobil­ise private fin­ance in sup­port of a low-car­bon society.
7. All organ­isa­tions should appraise their goals and prac­tices in the light of the urgency to achieve a low-car­bon society.
8. Local author­it­ies should integ­rate and embed their low-car­bon policies across all their vari­ous functions.
9. The Scottish Government and loc­al author­it­ies should act­ively assist loc­al com­munit­ies to intro­duce low-car­bon initiatives.
10. Closer engage­ment is needed between people, civil soci­ety, mar­ket and state in the pur­suit of Scotland’s low-car­bon vision.
The remit of the inquiry was to:
1. To engage in delib­er­at­ive dia­logue with indi­vidu­als, indus­tries and pub­lic author­it­ies to help devel­op and respond to pro­posed Government cli­mate change policies;
2. To identi­fy bar­ri­ers to change and to recom­mend meas­ures for cur­rent and future policies in these areas and the times­cales on which action might need to be developed.
Chairman: Professor David Sugden FRSE.
Emeritus Professor of geo­graphy, School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh
Professor Alan Werritty FRSE (Deputy Chair).
Emeritus Professor of Physical Geography, School of the Environment, and UNESCO Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science, University of Dundee
Mrs Erica Caldwell FRSGS.
Hon. President of the Scottish Association of Geography Teachers; Senior Examiner, SQA; Former Faculty Head, Carnoustie High School
Professor Colin Campbell.
Science Leader, Soils Group, The Macaulay Institute, Visiting Professor Department of Soil and Environment, Swedish Agricultural Sciences University (SLU).
Dr Andrew Dlugolecki.
Former Director of General Insurance Development at Aviva; Member of the UK Adaptation Sub-Committee on Climate Change
Professor Nick Hanley.
Professor of Environmental Economics, University of Stirling
Dr Andrew Kerr.
Director of the Edinburgh Centre on Climate Change
Professor Janette Webb.
Professor of Sociology of Organisations, Institute of Governance,School in Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh
Inquiry Questions
The Committee invited writ­ten responses from Government bod­ies, com­pan­ies and indi­vidu­als on what they are doing in response to cli­mate change and what bar­ri­ers to change they are facing. The spe­cif­ic ques­tions can be down­loaded here. 


Organic Vegan Banquet in aid of Coal Action Scotland

Friday, 1st April 2011, 7.30pm. Old St. Paul’s, Edinburgh. Entry £6 – 10 slid­ing scale depend­ing upon what you can afford.

Come along and join us for a deli­cious 3 course organ­ic vegan meal, live music and enter­tain­ments through the night, provided by the Coal Action Scotland col­lect­ive. The event is to help raise funds and spread aware­ness about the massive expan­sion of the coal industry in Scotland. Bring your friends, your col­leagues, your fam­ily… and their fam­il­ies! All are welcome.

We try to make all our events as access­ible to every­body as pos­sible and as such we are happy to cater for any diet­ary or access­ib­il­ity require­ments that you or your friends may have. We just ask that you let us know in advance so we can pre­pare for these properly.

Contact us at: banquet[at]

Tickets can be pur­chased in advance from the forest cafe, reserved by email­ing the address above or bought on the night. However, due to demand at pre­vi­ous ban­quets we recom­mend buying/reserving tick­ets in advance to ensure you get a seat (espe­cially if you may be late).

Finally, if you dig such things; there is also a face­book group that you can join —

Hope to see you there!

Love and Rage,

Coal Action Scotland X

All pro­ceeds go to CAS, a col­lect­ive which exists to chal­lenge the dev­ast­at­ing expanse of the coal industry through­out Scotland. Coal is one of the most car­bon intens­ive indus­tries and cur­rent rates of extrac­tion, trans­port­a­tion and com­bus­tion are hav­ing dra­mat­ic effects on loc­al and glob­al eco­sys­tems and the environment.
All these pro­cesses have equally hor­rif­ic effects on human health both here in Scotland and through­out the world.
Despite these facts and because of hypo­crit­ic­al gov­ern­ment policies, much of the indus­tri­al world is still inex­tric­ably linked to coal and Scotland is no dif­fer­ent. We at CAS exist to chal­lenge the reli­ance on this unsus­tain­able fossil fuel and work towards cre­at­ing pos­it­ive solu­tions with com­munit­ies who pay the true costs of the coal; the fuel which per­petu­ates and cata­lyses our cur­rent course of eco­cide and plan­et­ary collapse.

Finish Your Food Training Course




One Day Training Course

Reducing Food Waste in Schools and Communities


***ONLY £95!!***

One third of food is wasted when it could be reduced, reused and recycled. This fab­ulous food waste train­ing course will equip you with the skills, know­ledge and inform­a­tion needed to engage schools and com­munit­ies in redu­cing food waste.

You will observe the highly enga­ging ‘Finish Your Food with Mr Silly Sausage’ pro­ject in action and learn about the tech­niques employed to tackle wastage. The ‘Finish Your Food’ pro­ject is an excel­lent way to sup­port Eco Schools ini­ti­at­ives and reduce food waste in school. Learn how pupils become act­ive cit­izens as they raise aware­ness at home with the ‘Plate Pledge’ fam­ily chal­lenge and the whole com­munity is effect­ively engaged in food waste reduction.

About Us:

The Scottish Waste Education Support Programme (SWESP) run by Changeworks has been deliv­er­ing high qual­ity waste edu­ca­tion train­ing courses to the major­ity of Scotland’s loc­al author­it­ies and com­munity organ­isa­tions for the last 5 years.  You too could bene­fit from our unique approach to waste edu­ca­tion through a range of activ­it­ies, tech­niques and top tips based on tried and tested waste edu­ca­tion from exper­i­enced waste educators.


09:00: Presentation on how to reduce food waste in schools and at home

11:30: School visit

12:00: Visit din­ing hall to see lunch in progress

13:30: Whole school present­a­tion ‘Finish Your Food with Mr Silly Sausage’

13:50: Talk with eco pupils about record­ing food waste as Zero Waste Heroes

14:00: Depart school

14:30: Arrive Changeworks for cof­fee and debrief

For more inform­a­tion see:

Previous par­ti­cipants said:

“A good vari­ety of inform­a­tion, prac­tical activ­it­ies and oppor­tun­it­ies to share with oth­ers. Well worth the time and money.

Date: 21st March 2011

Venue: Changeworks, 36 Newhaven Road, Edinburgh, EH6 5PY

(10 mins from city centre)

Cost: Special rate of £95 + VAT

Included: Lunch, refresh­ments, all train­ing materials

To book your place contact:

Jane Adams, Waste Prevention Administrator,

A: Changeworks, 36 Newhaven Road, Edinburgh, EH6 5PY.

T: 0131 555 4010 E:

Sustainable Development Education Network

Welcome to the March bul­letin for the SDE Network. This month sees our Annual Conference tak­ing place on 31st March, in Edinburgh, so hope as many of you can make it along to meet up, talk, share and learn.

Cycling and green trans­port seems to be a pop­u­lar top­ic at the moment and there is plenty info in this months bul­letin about it – from nation­al con­fer­ences and loc­al meet­ings, to resources and fund­ing. So get on your bike!!


Norah Barnes


For all oth­er enquir­ies contact:

Abi Cornwall, SDE Network coordin­ator, tel. 07506 189 600

email: and web­site:


SDE Network Page 1

1. Fairtrade Fortnight, Show Off Your Label, 28th Feb14th March

This year, Fairtrade is ask­ing you to get loud and proud and show off your label. Show off your pas­sion, your favour­ite product, your pro­du­cer stor­ies. Most of all, we want to show off Fairtrade cot­ton and high­light the injustices that make Fairtrade a vital life­line for cot­ton farm­ers in West Africa and India. Let’s show off a dif­fer­ent way of doing trade and why we sup­port it!

Posters, leaf­lets, Schools Action Guide, events are all on the web­site:

2. Trellis Annual Conference, Perth Concert Hall, 15th March

Trellis sup­ports and rep­res­ents over 180 thera­peutic garden­ing pro­jects across Scotland. This year’s con­fer­ence will be a show­case for the work of some of the inspir­ing and diverse garden­ing pro­jects in the Trellis net­work across Scotland and will offer del­eg­ates a choice of prac­tical work­shops on themes ran­ging from ‘Surviving Lean Times through Reinvention and Diversification’, to the value and chal­lenges of provid­ing Therapeutic Gardening in Secure Settings, a Fruit Tree Pruning Master Class and a chance to dis­cuss pre­lim­in­ary find­ings on the evid­ence for thera­peutic horticulture.

To book a place, please con­tact or tel 01738 624348. Full details also avail­able

3 Renewable Energy and Heat Fair, Nevis Centre, Fort William, Sat 19th March

As the cul­min­a­tion of the cur­rent phase of the 2‑year RENEW Project, a ‘Renewable Energy and Heat Fair’ is being organ­ized in Fort William. Renewable com­pan­ies based in Lochaber, and oth­er Scottish-based, accred­ited com­pan­ies have been invited to run info stalls.

For those who want to know more about a spe­cific tech­no­logy there will also be 75-minute work­shops for each of the three tech­no­lo­gies sup­por­ted by the Feed-in-Tariff (sol­ar PV, hydro and wind) and also for each of the three renew­able heat­ing tech­no­lo­gies (sol­ar thermal, bio­mass and heat pumps).

Robert & Justine Dunn, RENEW Household Project Officers, tel: 01967 402453, email:, web­site:


SDE Network Page 2

4. Spokes Spring Public Meeting, Augustine United Church, Edinburgh, Wed 23rd March

The meet­ing will be a hust­ings for the May 5th Holyrood elec­tions – with an excit­ing line-up of speak­ers, and a new format to enable max­im­um test­ing of and engage­ment with each can­did­ate!! Candidates for the Parliament from the 5 main parties will each speak for 5 minutes about cyc­ling in the con­text of their wider trans­port policies.  They will then spend 10 minutes each in sub­groups of the audi­ence, so that each can­did­ate gets a real grilling – by you!!


Time… 7.30pm; open 6.45 for cof­fee, stall, exhib­i­tion and chat.

For more info email: or go to Spokes website:


5. World of Work Glow Meeting – Renewable Energy Sector, 2 ‑3pm, 23rd March

The renew­able energy sec­tor is set to become one of the fast­est grow­ing sec­tors in Scotland, offer­ing many excit­ing career oppor­tun­it­ies for young people. Join this inter­act­ive Glow meet to find out more. Participants will have the oppor­tun­ity to take part in chal­lenges, ask ques­tions and learn about the career paths taken by three indi­vidu­als. This meet is broadly aimed at learners in sec­ond­ary schools but may be of interest to primary schools too.


Join this Glow meet on the 23rd March 2011 in the World of Work Wednesday Glow meet room at

Please dir­ect tech­nic­al quer­ies regard­ing Glow to Jennifer McDougall on All oth­er quer­ies should be dir­ec­ted to Ian Menzies, Development Officer (Developing Global Citizens) on email: or Tel: 0141 282 5160.


6. SDE Network Conference, Godfrey Thomson Hall, Universty of Edinburgh, 31st March

The SDE Network’s annu­al con­fer­ence is an oppor­tun­ity for the SDE com­munity to meet, talk, share and learn.  This year’s Keynote Speaker will by Prof Tim Kasser, author of Common Cause and The High Price of Materialism.  There will also be a var­ied pro­gramme of work­shops where del­eg­ates can share know­ledge, devel­op skills and learn prac­tic­al activities.


Cost – £50 for non-mem­bers or £20 for SDE Network Members. Places at this event are limited.

To book your place please con­tact Abi Cornwall:, tel: 07506 189 600


7. Growing Communities in Scotland, Edinburgh Regional Meeting, 5th April

This is a great oppor­tun­ity to meet oth­er people involved with com­munity and thera­peut­ic farms, gar­dens and grow­ing pro­jects in the Edinburgh area. On this day there will be an look at the work of the Grassmarket Community Project, a work­shop on top tips for grant fund­ing suc­cess, and a vis­it to the Royal Edinburgh Hospital Community Garden.


For more inform­a­tion email: or tel: 0131 623 7058.


Scottish Orchards Fife Networking events

Please see inform­a­tion about the Scottish Orchards Fife/ East Coast Gathering

They are look­ing to roll out this train­ing and net­work­ing to oth­er parts of Scotland so even if you cant get to this one, they are open to ideas.

Scottish Orchards Fife_East Coast Gathering[1]

Response to Portobello High School planning application

Dear PEDAL mem­bers and supporters,

Several people over the last day or so have asked ques­tions about PEDAL’s sub­mis­sion regard­ing the plan­ning applic­a­tion for the pro­posed new school in the park.  All sub­mis­sions are open to the pub­lic, and a copy of the let­ter which PEDAL sent is below.

This response was debated long and hard with­in the Board.  We felt that the energy and trans­port issues were so much part of PEDAL’s core pur­pose that not to com­ment on them would be odd and not in line with our mis­sion. However, we decided not to com­ment on the core issue of the school being built in the park as we were aware that our mem­bers had such diverse views on this mat­ter.  Our sub­mis­sion was not that we were opposed to the school in the park, but that we and our chil­dren deserve bet­ter if we are ever going to move towards a more sus­tain­able future. Continue read­ing

Transition Edinburgh South Propose Talks

With find­ings based on their energy pro­jects, Transition Edinburgh South pro­pose two talks from spe­cial­ists if you are inter­ested in home energy effi­ciency. The talks will be fol­lowed by ques­tion and answers and will take place at Morningside United Church, Chamberlain road, from 7 – 9 pm.

Saving Energy in Tenement Homes Wednesday 23th Februrary

Two talks on improv­ing energy effi­ciency in Edinburgh Tenement flats. Gary Pearson (Changeworks) and Grigor Mitchell (Architect) will present the res­ults of their detailed energy sur­veys in tene­ment flats in south Edinburgh, identi­fy­ing the most cost effect­ive meas­ures for sav­ing energy and keep­ing warm at an indi­vidu­al flat and whole-build­ing level.

Renewable Energy in Traditional Homes 3rd March

An even­ing present­a­tion by Nick Heath (Changeworks) explor­ing the bene­fits, costs and prac­tic­al­it­ies of installing house­hold renew­able energy sys­tems such as sol­ar pan­els, heat pumps and wood-burn­ing stoves in tra­di­tion­al Edinburgh homes, includ­ing tene­ments. Followed by Q & A and discussion.

Grow your own vegetables course

Are you inter­ested in grow­ing your own veget­ables but don’t know where to start?  Join Damhead Nursery where veget­able expert Jim Williams from the National Vegetable Society will be intro­du­cing you to the delights of grow­ing your own food, how to estab­lish a kit­chen garden and pick up simple tips to get you star­ted, wheth­er you have a large over­grown plot, small patch or a win­dow box.  He will cov­er top­ics such as seed sow­ing, get­ting the best out of your green­house, pests/weed con­trol, com­post­ing, crop rota­tion and soil pre­par­a­tion.  After his talk par­ti­cipants will ven­ture into the nurs­ery for a hands-on prac­tic­al exercise.

When Friday 11 March 2011
Where Damhead Nursery
Time 1:30pm — 4:00pm
Cost £25.00 (includ­ing tea/coffee & cake)
Bring Warm clothes for hands on prac­tic­al outside/poly tunnel
Booking There are a lim­ited num­ber of spaces.  To book your place either call

Damhead Nursery on 0131 445 4698 or email