Category Archives: carbon reduction

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.
Membership
Chairman: Professor David Sugden FRSE.
Emeritus Professor of geo­graphy, School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh
Members:
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. 

 

up to £400 towards a new energy efficient boiler!

The Energy Saving Scotland boil­er scrap­page scheme offers owner/occupiers up t0 £400 towards upgrad­ing their inef­fi­cient boil­ers to new energy effi­cient ones. The scheme opens on Tuesday 1st Feb 12.30pm — no vouch­ers will be giv­en or applic­a­tions taken before this time. It will allow upgrades of old inef­fi­cient boil­ers to help you save money and energy. For more details see the EST web­site

Water and Energy Advice

Did you know around 30% of an aver­age heat­ing bill is just for hot water? That’s around £200 a year.

A few simple changes to the way you use your water and energy can help you to cut costs. Your loc­al Energy Saving Scotland advice centre is offer­ing a free home water and energy vis­it or an in-depth tele­phone advice call to house­hold­ers to help them make sav­ings in their home. To book a free home vis­it or advice call please con­tact the Water Efficiency Advisor at the Energy Saving Scotland advice centre on 0131 539 4128.

The Energy Saving Scotland advice centre is fun­ded by the Scottish Government. Itprovides free and impar­tial advice about how to stop wast­ing energy and water at home.

Solar Porty Scheme launched!

Please see here for more details

First Portobello Organic Market does a roaring trade!

The first Portobello Organic Market took place on a very sunny Saturday 4th September. Over a peri­od of four hours, more than one thou­sand people des­cen­ded on Brighton Park to buy lovely loc­al and organ­ic food, drink and crafts. Initial feed­back from sev­er­al loc­al traders sug­gests that the event had a very pos­it­ive effect on High Street busi­nesses too.

The mar­ket was offi­cially opened with a short speech and rib­bon cut­ting by Councillor Tom Buchanan, Convenor of Economic Development at City of Edinburgh Council.

The mar­ket will con­tin­ue to run on the first Saturday of every month, from 10am to 2pm in Brighton Park. We are look­ing to ensure future events reflect the feed­back we have received — in par­tic­u­lar we aim to change the lay­out of stalls to reduce crowding, and to have a wider range of pro­duce for sale as well as stalls selling teas/coffees and hot and cold snacks.

You can view more inform­a­tion about the Organic Market and how to book a stall via these links.

http://www.pedal-porty.org.uk/food/portobello-organic-market/pom-stallholders/

Hotspot Insulation Offer launch

The Portobello Hotspot offers fast track sur­veys and install­a­tion for reduced price loft and cav­ity wall insu­la­tion. It is avail­able to any­one in the Portobello area and is run by Energy Saving Scotland advice centre in part­ner­ship with PEDAL – Portobello Transition Town. A let­ter is going out at the end of August, in time for sur­veys and install­a­tion through September.

Loft and cav­ity wall insu­la­tion will be car­ried out by accred­ited installers McSence, a loc­ally-based social enter­prise com­pany with over 20 years exper­i­ence in installing insulation.

For a free no-oblig­a­tion loft or cav­ity wall sur­vey please call the Energy Saving Scotland Advice Centre dir­ect, on 0800 512 012.

Water Saving event 28th July

7 – 8pm in Portobello Town Hall

FREE water sav­ing tools to use in your own home

FREE impar­tial advice on sav­ing energy water and money through water efficiency

The oppor­tun­ity to WIN a water effi­ciency makeover for your house

The aver­age house­hold spends around 30% of their gas bill on heat­ing water, which could be as much as £200 a year.

To find out how you could save money and reduce your car­bon foot­print please join us for some refresh­ments at Portobello Town hall  on 28th July 7 – 8pm.

If you can­’t make it along you can still find out about sav­ing water and money here.

Water Saving event 28th July

7 – 8pm in Portobello Town Hall

FREE water sav­ing tools to use in your own home

FREE impar­tial advice on sav­ing energy water and money through water efficiency

The oppor­tun­ity to WIN a water effi­ciency makeover for your house

The aver­age house­hold spends around 30% of their gas bill on heat­ing water, which could be as much as £200 a year.

To find out how you could save money and reduce your car­bon foot­print please join us for some refresh­ments at Portobello Town hall  on 28th July 7 – 8pm.

If you can­’t make it along you can still find out about sav­ing water and money here.

Fire Under the Stars: Environmental songs, stories and humour with Eric Maddern


We became human sit­ting round a fire under the stars. We are now burn­ing up the plan­et. We are a mir­acle in the Universe yet we are under­min­ing our sur­viv­al and the sur­viv­al of the Garden of Eden that is our lovely, lonely, liv­ing Planet Earth.

This show is a bold, inspir­ing, hope­ful and heart-warm­ing take on the big pic­ture and the step up we must make.

Eric Maddern is an Australian born storyteller, sing­er-song­writer and author

St. James’ Church hall, Rosefield Place

Sunday June 20th 7.30pm. Suggested dona­tion: £5. Suitable for all aged 10 upwards.

After the show there will be a chance to find out how you can get involved in PEDAL’s latest food and energy projects.

Eric is a great per­former and I’m sure it will be a great event!

Download the poster

Water saving campaign

By the first week of June every­one in Portobello should be receiv­ing a Home Water check form through their doors. By send­ing back com­pleted forms, indi­vidu­als will get a report on ways they can reduce water use. This can save energy and money, and cut car­bon emis­sions. Money can be saved by redu­cing hot water use and increas­ing effi­ciency of water heat­ing, but huge amounts of energy energy is also used to treat water for con­sump­tion and for it’s treat­ment after use, so by redu­cing unne­ces­sary water use we can cut car­bon emis­sions too. The water sav­ing cam­paign is being run by Energy Saving Scotland advice centre in part­ner­ship with PEDAL.

On Wednesday 2nd June there will be a stall in the Bath Street Scotmid store where Oliver Musgrave from Changeworks will be there to answer ques­tions about water sav­ing, and you can also find out about oth­er cur­rent PEDAL projects.