Delivering community climate action plans in Scotland

A colourful illustration with the words Community Climate Action Plans on a blue banner above a green space with a wheel barrow with plants in the foreground.
Published: 28/09/2022

As part of Climate Week 2022, we ran an event on Designing for a Changing Climate. We asked the speakers to write a short blog about their presentation. In this blog, Heather Ashworth, a Projects Officer with the communities team at Keep Scotland Beautiful shares details on the Community Climate Action Plan programme.

Keep Scotland Beautiful's Community Climate Action Plan programme sets out to support communities across Scotland to create their own climate action plan to empower local residents to take up the mantle on climate action in their local area, in support of a just transition to a more sustainable Scotland.

In late 2020, we ran a pilot Community Climate Action Plan programme with two communities, Tayvallich in Argyll and Bute and Kirriemuir in Angus through online workshops due to the pandemic.

Successful pilot  

The success of the initial pilot led to funding from the Scottish Government through Scotland’s COP26 community engagement programme to take the CCAP programme forward with seven new communities: Arbroath, Ferguslie Park in Paisley, Islay and Jura, Knoydart, Newcastleton, Shotts and Pollokshields in Glasgow.

Each community put forward an expression of interest to take part in the programme; this approach worked well as it meant there was an anchor group already within the community with the enthusiasm to take action.

Between December 2021 and March 2022, we delivered a series of online workshops, some brought all the communities together and others were individual to each community. Online sessions had both benefits and challenges, balancing the ability to bring geographically dispersed groups together whilst understanding that Zoom fatigue has become a factor in online participation.

Community climate action plans 

The culmination of these workshops was the creation of a community climate action plan document, for each community, laying out previous and ongoing work as well as plans for actions going forward. Each plan is a live document that can be edited and changed regularly.

They are created by the community for the community, with ongoing support from us until March 2023 to assist the communities to translate plans into action. Incorporating some in-person delivery in recent months has helped groups increase their community engagement.

With additional external funding we were able to work with a new community, Camelon & Tamfourhill in Falkirk.

Early successes 

Each community now has a plan of action, whether that be to work on more community engagement or to make a start on their initial actions. But don’t just take it from us - this is what the communities we work with have said.

“This [the CCAP] process enabled us to focus in on what really mattered to local people and the areas of greatest impact. Getting the support from Keep Scotland Beautiful was definitely the catalyst we needed following the pandemic to bring everyone in the community together. This action plan will now give us the resource needed to engage with other local groups and increase the momentum of the work needed to make the area a great place to live, work and visit”. –community member, Arbroath.

Delivering Community Climate Action Plans in Scotland

If you would like to discuss further opportunities to get involved in the CCAP programme, please email:

Keep Scotland Beautiful is your charity for Scotland’s environment. We work with charities, community groups, local authorities, businesses and the general public through three core work strands to combat climate change, reduce litter and waste and protect and enhance the places we care for. Our work is measured, monitored and reported against the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

 “I hoped [that through the process] we would be able to generate some ideas of projects for the community to take forward. The reality was so much more though. The structure of the sessions allowed us to explore possibilities and share information on established projects. We were also able to gain valuable insight from other communities on how they had moved things forward”. 

Community member, Shotts
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