The Scottish Cities Alliance and the Improvement Service have formed a new partnership to support officers and elected members to deliver a just transition to Net Zero. This agenda is a priority for both organisations and the collaboration will build capacity within local government to deliver the transformation and improvement needed.
A peer-to-peer network was launched in April to promote knowledge exchange between the Alliance partners and support access to learning from a UK and international perspective. The first event for officers was focused on low carbon heat and energy efficiency. Following an inspiring conversation around COP26, attendees then had the opportunity to engage with Scottish Government on recent policy developments. The second half of the event focused on the experiences of officers in delivering projects with presentations from Dundee and Stirling covering the details and lessons learned.
Members of the network can now read case studies and share ideas through a virtual platform. The network is open to all officers across the Scottish cities. A further event is planned at the end of the year which will focus on transport and circular economy.
The network will also include support for elected members through a training programme delivered throughout 2021. The training will be based on the Carbon Literacy Project’s new toolkit, developed specifically for elected members. ‘Carbon literacy’ is the knowledge and capacity to support the required positive shift in how we live, work and behave in response to climate change. It is an awareness of the costs and impacts of greenhouse gases (collectively referred to as ‘carbon’) through everyday activities, and the ability and motivation to reduce emissions, as an individual, community and organisation.
The Alliance and the Improvement Service are working closely with Keep Scotland Beautiful to adapt and deliver training which has been specifically adjusted to take the Scottish context into consideration. The course aims to empower elected members through practical and relevant training, exploring the science and policy to develop understanding then focusing on solutions and actions. It will also support and encourage peer-to-peer learning across the local authorities.
We all have the joint ambition and drive to ensure our economies and our cities achieve our net zero goals in a greener, more sustainable and vibrant Scotland. By undertaking this bespoke Carbon Literacy training for Elected Members in a collaborative environment which encourages peer-to-peer learning, we are all taking an important step together in equipping ourselves with the skills needed to engage with our communities and bring them with us on this journey towards a becoming a carbon neutral nation.