Climate Change Week aims to transform awareness into actions

The first Climate Change Week is getting to its end after many actions have taken place across Scotland. Climate Change Week (16 – 23 September) aspires to involve individuals and organisations in several activities – either internally or open to the public – to raise awareness and take action regarding global warming and its effects.

This comes after last year’s success in the initiative among the Scottish Government employees, who organised several activities before the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris in 2015 (COP21) took place.

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Photo credit: Scottish Parliament

As this has been launched nationally, the Scottish Parliament, for example, among many other organisations, has given hundreds of free re-usable cups for the staff to promote the reduction of waste.

“We already have a lot of data and information. If that was enough, we wouldn’t have to tackle the problem. However, climate change is still a problem because people still don’t believe or don’t care about it. Weeks like this one helps people focus in raising awareness and engage them in the conversation”, says Pat Graczyk, Sustainability Officer at the Edinburgh World Heritage (EWH), one of the organisations involved in the range of activities.

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Community garden grown vegetables from Edinburgh World Heritage. Photo Credit: Varsha Rajanhally

Amidst other actions, EWH’s staff has harvested some food they produce in their community garden and will share today a fully garden grown lunch. This will offer the chance to talk about food waste and other recycling strategies.

More action required

Although Scotland is taking the lead in carbon emission reduction and renewable energies, still the effects of climate change can be noticed. Rain has increased by 7% between 1961 and 2010 in Scotland, according to the UK Climate Change Risk Assessment 2017 Evidence Report. The paper also points out since 1950, the minimum temperature extremes have increased by just over 1ºC.

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Whitelee windfarm (Scotland), one of the biggest in the UK. Photo credit: @ms.akr (Flickr)

The Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 established a legally-binding annual targets to reduce 80% of the emission since 1990 by 2050. The 2016 Progress Report, released last week, points out that Scotland is in the correct path because it has met 2014 targets, but much more is required in order to meet the objectives after 2020.

“There has been little progress in reducing emissions from transport and agriculture and land use”, states the recent report which highlights the fact that in this field emission reductions have been slow.

 

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