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Let’s Not Miss This Opportunity: Making Climate Change a Priority in the Upcoming General Election

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We’re getting a General Election—a chance for change. This isn’t just another election; it’s a critical opportunity to bring the climate message to the forefront. When candidates knock on your door or when you’re discussing the election in your community, remember that climate change is one of the top four issues voters are concerned about (according to Climate Outreach). Although it can be nerve-wracking to broach the subject, now is the time to take that leap and ensure our voices are heard.

What Are Our Political Parties Offering to Resolve the Climate Emergency?

Labour Party
Labour’s manifesto outlines six initial steps, with a focus on delivering economic stability and setting up Great British Energy, a new public energy company aimed at driving the transition to clean energy.

Conservative Party
The Conservative manifesto includes a plan for a transition to net zero. This plan involves new oil and gas licenses, building new gas power stations, and scaling up nuclear power, aiming to balance energy needs with environmental concerns.

Liberal Democrats
The Lib Dems cover 22 topics in their manifesto, with key areas related to climate including ‘climate change and energy’, ‘natural environment’, and ‘food and farming’.

Green Party
The Green Party’s manifesto, has 16 topics all geared towards sustainability and environmental protection, their policies are designed to address the climate emergency.

Scottish National Party (SNP)
The SNP a campaigning on ‘Building a Fairer, Greener Economy’. Their manifesto includes a just transition for the North East and Grangemouth workers, ruling out new nuclear power plants and ‘taking an evidence based approach’ to oil and gas, banning new coal licences, providing fair funding for climate, sustainable funding for farming and establishing a ‘Four Nations Climate Response Group’.

Reform Party 

The Reform Party doesn’t have a manifesto but a Contract with You. It says ‘Net Zero is crippling our economy and that £10 billion of Renewable Energy Subsidies should be scrapped. They want to fast track licenses of North Sea gas and oil. Grant shale gas licenses on test sites for 2 years.

Alba Party

The Alba Party’s manifesto does not have a section on climate action but in their policies they are focused on energy and ask for eight policies including a public energy company and oppose the transition of ending oil refining at Grangemouth Oil Refinery and the introduction of Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMA).

Workers Party of Britain

Workers Party of Britain propose free public travel for children across Britain. They ‘supports the call for a Net Zero Referendum as soon as possible to create a national debate on who profits from these targets and on what terms’. They oppose ULEZ initiatives because of the costs they impose on working households and small businesses.

Scottish Family Party

The Scottish Family Party suggest that the benefits of climate policies needs to be weighed against the costs. They believe that Scottish oil and gas industry can meet our energy needs for years to come.

What Can You Do to Ensure Climate is on the Agenda?

      1. Attend a Hustings and Ask Questions
        Engage directly with candidates by attending hustings. The next opportunity is in St Andrews, and there’s also an online human rights-based hustings hosted by Alliance Scotland.

      1. Show Your Support
        Display an “I’m a Climate Voter” poster in your window. You can get one here.

      1. Stay Informed
        Read Greenpeace’s guide on what to look for in parties’ election promises. Their “6Ws” framework can help you evaluate climate commitments critically.

    This election is a pivotal moment. Let’s ensure that climate change remains a key issue on the political agenda. Every conversation, every question, and every vote counts. Let’s seize this chance to push for a sustainable future.

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    Organisation Address
    Cover Resource Name Description Download
    Climate Conversation Guide Cover Climate Conversation Guide A comprehensive guide to engaging in meaningful climate conversations. Download PDF
    Talking Climate Handbook Cover Talking Climate Handbook Strategies for everyday climate change discussions. Download PDF
    Community Climate Action Toolkit Cover Community Climate Action Toolkit Tools and tips for community-led climate initiatives. Download PDF
    Reduce Waste Guide Cover How to… help your community to reduce waste Guidance on waste reduction for communities. Download PDF
    Shifting Normal Guide Cover Shifting Normal full guide Insights into driving change for normalising sustainable practices. Download PDF
    Organisation URL
    Scottish Communities Climate Action Network (SCCAN) sccan.scot
    Energy Saving Trust energysavingtrust.org.uk
    Home Energy Scotland homeenergyscotland.org
    Hubbub hubbub.org.uk
    Climate Action Fife climateactionfife.org.uk
    Greener Kirkcaldy greenerkirkcaldy.org.uk
    Circular Communities Scotland circularcommunities.scot
    Adaptation Scotland adaptationscotland.org.uk
    Wellbeing Economy Alliance Scotland weallscotland.org
    Zero Waste Scotland zerowastescotland.org.uk
    Keep Scotland Beautiful keepscotlandbeautiful.org
    Climate Outreach climateoutreach.org
    Carbon Literacy Project carbonliteracy.com
    Transition University of St Andrews transitionsta.org
    Nescan nescan.org
    Highlands and Islands Climate Hub hiclimatehub.co.uk
    Fife Coast and Countryside trust fifecoastandcountrysidetrust.co.uk
    Possible wearepossible.org
    Greenspace Scotland greenspacescotland.org.uk
    Development Trust Association Scotland DTAS dtascot.org.uk
    Community Land Scotland communitylandscotland.org.uk
    Carbon Almanac thecarbonalmanac.org/subscribe
    Talking climate talkingclimatenewsletter.substack.com
    TCV tcv.org.uk/scotland/signup-for-our-newsletter
    Organisations & Resources

    Organisations that may help you on your journey:

    ORGANISATION MEMBERSHIP PAGE BENEFITS
    Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) https://scvo.scot/membership 30% off training, member-only networks (policy and comms), Funding Scotland premium access, members email bulletin, priority access for events, etc
    Circular Communities Scotland https://www.circularcommunities.scot/join/ Funding advice, member events, policy updates, representation in network
    Energy Action Scotland https://eas.org.uk/ Two discounted training course places per year - City and Guilds Energy Awareness Training
    SURF: Scotland's Regeneration Forum https://www.surf.scot/about-us/membership/ Networking, contribute to policy consultations, free SURF Conference, priority access to events, access to policy journal and reports
    Nourish Scotland https://www.nourishscotland.org/join-us/ Welcome pack including printed Food Atlas, part of a network, discounts / free entry at events, members Facebook group
    Social Farms and Gardens https://www.farmgarden.org.uk/join-us Monthly online member meets, discounted training, access to grants and bursaries, advice from staff, newsletters, representation and policy influencing
    Cycling Scotland https://www.cycling.scot/about-us/who-we-are/list/members Access to cycle training, support guidance and funding from Transport Scotland
    Learning for Sustainability Scotland https://learningforsustainabilityscotland.org/about-us/#members Take part in action groups, attend and vote at AGMs, networking events and seminars, access resources, advice, consultations and policy documents
    Development Trust Association Scotland (DTAS) https://dtascot.org.uk/benefits/network Annual conference, e-bulletin, networking events, Community Learning Exchange Fund, resources and tools, strategic planning support, trustee training, policy and funding updates, representation through a strong voice
    Community Energy Scotland https://communityenergyscotland.org.uk/membership/ Members bulletins, partnership working and capacity building, representation at government level, members directory, events, free advertising for volunteer opportunities
    Scottish Communities Climate Action Network (SCCAN) https://sccan.scot/join/ Networking, communications, training and events, showcased in members map and directory, peer to peer networking, access to funding (e.g. Community Learning Exchange)
    This guide is designed to help community groups tackling climate change maximise their success by taking account of how change happens when planning, carrying out and reviewing their activities. Shifting normal - designing projects to tackle climate change: full guide - gov.scot nan
    Community Climate Action Toolkit. Easy-to-use tools and resources, to develop your group understand your local situation, to move into meaningful action. Community Climate Action Toolkit | The Schumacher Institute nan
    Pair of reports looking at barriers to walking and wheeling in Scotland. Common issues better-streets-key-issues.pdf nan
    Place Standard Tool (PST), designed for considering a joined up, collaborative, and participative approach to climate action within a place. Place Standard with a Climate Lens | Sniffer nan
    VOiCE is planning and recording software that assists individuals, organisations and partnerships to design and deliver effective community engagement. VOiCE nan
    Adaptation Routemap is valuable for anyone who would like to Understand and address climate change impacts within your community now and in the future. Adaptation Scotland :: Community Climate Adaptation Routemap nan
    52 Climate Actions. 52 of the most effective climate actions that can be taken by individuals and communities in the GlobalNorth. One for each week of the year. Actions | 52 Climate Actions nan
    A simple guide to talking about climate change by Australian organisation Climate4Change. Climate Conversation guide.pdf - Google Drive nan
    Impact is an estimator of a community’s carbon footprint that works for parishes wards, district councils and unitary authorities. Impact | Community carbon calculator nan
    Stats and infographics explaining the urgency of change and how every degree counts 8 Things You Need to Know About the IPCC 1.5ËšC Report | World Resources Institute nan
    Fife Benefits. Matching communities and good causes with businesses and procurement staff Fife Benefits - Procurement Support nan
    Plastic Free Dunfermline’s guide on zero waste events. Plastic Free Event Guide - Plastic-Free Dunfermline nan
    SCCAN offers groups a free fully fledged website hosted under the sccan.scot domain SCCAN spaces – get webspace free nan
    Greenspace Scotland. A wide range of resources including guidance, research, statistics and funding sources. Resources | Greenspace Scotland nan
    The PECH structure. A useful way to build team cohesion and direction by finding commonalities and ironing out differences at the outset. CEC Visioning PECH doc - Google Docs nan
    SP=EED. Planning Aid Scotland’s’ guide and toolkit to more effective community engagement in the planning system. And offers help with Place Plans Resources - PAS nan
    nan Community-led Plans - PAS nan
    Growing Climate Confidence. Help to reduce emissions and engage their community. Their Scorecard will assess your progress to net zero. Growing Climate Confidence nan
    Carbon Brief covers the latest developments in climate science, climate policy and energy policy. https://www.carbonbrief.org/ nan
    Climate Outreach. Explore their website. They have a range of tools for engaging the public on climate change. https://climateoutreach.org/reports/how-to-have-a-climate-change-conversation-talking-climate/ nan
    The Place Standard tool provides a simple framework to structure conversations about place, based around 14 questions.  https://www.ourplace.scot/About-Place-Standard nan
    Community Map Scotland is a software project to help your community build a Local Place Plan. https://www.parish-online.co.uk/services/community-map-scotland nan
    ISM a multidisciplinary behaviour tool for designing effective policy interventions, originally developed in the context of sustainability challenges. Created by Andrew Darnton with colleagues at the University of Manchester, and launched by the Scottish Government in 2013. https://www.ismtool.org/ nan

    Where you have come from before: Before joining the Fife Climate Hub team I had two jobs I was the Sustainable Transport Officer for Transition University St Andrews and I worked as a Communications Advisor for Fife Council

    I am a passionate communicator with a big interest in climate and biodiversity. I began this journey when I was asked to cover the GM Crop Trials in the Highlands as a young reporter for the Press & Journal. I realised that I wanted to be part of the solution and not on the sidelines reporting it.  

    One small change I would recommend getting the train for your next holiday. It’s a fantastic adventure and once you get out of the UK the trains are much more relaxed and you feel on holiday straight away. On the Eurostar on to Paris even the toasties are served with a plate, a napkin and a French accent! 

    Sean Flinn

    Where you have come from before:

    I have worked and volunteered in science communication since my undergraduate and have formal qualifications as both a youth worker and science teacher. I have a background in marine conservation and have briefly worked in conservation research. Previously I ran a project working with young people on the topics of climate change and the biodiversity crisis. I have used my experience to help upskill other educators based on the lessons I have learned. 

    One small change you would make to make the world a greener, fairer place:  

    Is to question everything you read or hear especially online! There is a lot of information out there and it can be overwhelming; especially when much of it is intentionally misleading!

    GilIian Napier

    Where you have come from before: Worked with my partner in his print business, doing everything except put ink on paper! I have also worked for the National Child-minding Association and the various Local Authorities in England. 

    One small change: Ask everyone to celebrate their small wins whether it be buying second hand clothing to planting a patio tree on your balcony.  It all helps.

    Where you have come from before: Before joining the Fife Climate Hub

    Craig Leitch Fife Climate Hub Manager
    Craig Leitch Fife Climate Hub Manager

    team I worked for Greener Kirkcaldy and on the Climate Action Fife Project. My role was to deliver climate literacy training and inspire climate action. I also supported FCCAN as their secretariat.

    My background is in wildlife conservation where I mainly worked to share the joys of nature with people as a ranger, leading guided walks and as education officer.  

    One small change is to talk to people about climate change. Share your worries and celebrate your positive actions. You really do have power to influence those around you.  

    Alternatively: buy (and sell)  second hand. There are so many apps out there now to help with this. This means fewer emissions, fewer things going to landfill and it saves you money.