Empower communities on climate action


Cities chosen to help drive a just transition to net zero.

Seven cities have been chosen to help tackle the impact of climate change and ensure a just transition to net zero.

The Climate Action Towns program will enable communities to come together and engage in collective climate action, taking into account the unique challenges and opportunities that each city faces. This could include examining steps that can be taken to shift to more sustainable food or renewable energy.

Communities in the seven cities will be supported to find ways to make changes at the local level that will help cope with the crisis, giving them a voice and engaging those who may not have previously engaged in the crisis. climate action.

The scheme will be implemented by design agency Architecture and Design Scotland, with funding of £ 146,000 from the Scottish Government. The seven chosen cities are:

  • Alness, Highlands
  • Annan, Dumfries and Galloway
  • Blackburn, West Lothian
  • Campbeltown, Argyll & Bute
  • Holytown, North Lanarkshire
  • Invergordon, Highlands
  • Stevenston, North Ayrshire

The project will be driven by collaboration between people and local agencies, and their collective vision of what their climate action city looks like. The result of working with cities will be used to describe learning for city-wide climate action which can then be applied across Scotland and beyond.

The announcement comes during the Scottish Government’s Just Transition themed weekend at COP26.

The start of the Scottish Government’s updated energy strategy collaboration and co-design process was presented on Friday. It has also been announced that Scotland’s first Just Transition Plan, to be released in spring 2022, will focus on the energy sector.

The Scottish Government will provide £ 100,000 to establish a Just Transition Alliance within the Under2 Coalition, a network of over 200 decentralized and local governments leading climate action across the world, so members can access resources , the support and information needed to deliver a just transition in cities and towns around the world.

Just Transition Minister Richard Lochhead said:

“Clearly we need to decarbonize industry and society in order to mitigate the worst effects of climate change, but we need to do it in a way that is fair to everyone and leaves no one behind.

“Scotland was at the forefront of the Industrial Revolution, so we believe it is right that Scotland is at the forefront of this Green Revolution.

“We have a unique opportunity to make change in a way that will be good for our people, our communities, our economy and our planet – we must seize it.

“Tackling the climate crisis requires all of us to get involved, at all levels. We can all make a difference. The Climate Action Towns project aims to support and empower communities to have a say in how their local areas should change as part of a just and equitable transition to net zero. I can’t wait to see how the participating cities rise to the challenge and find ways that will make a difference not only locally, but in Scotland and even the world.

Architecture and Design Scotland Managing Director Jim MacDonald said:

“The climate emergency demands urgent action from all of us. For Scotland to adapt to the impacts of climate change, we will all need to work together to adapt the ways we live, work, play and travel in our towns and villages. With half of Scotland’s population living in cities, it is essential that cities are a key part of the fight against climate change.


Climate Action Cities were chosen based on their population size (less than 10,000), Scottish Multiple Deprivation Index (SIMD) factors and the fact that they have historically not been engaged in climate action.

The Under2Coalition brings together local governments and decentralized administrations from around the world, representing approximately 1.75 billion people and 50% of the global economy.

The Climate Change Committee (CCC) – the UK’s independent advisor on tackling climate change – has estimated that more than 60% of the changes needed to reach net zero will be, at least in part, behavioral or societal. For this reason, Climate Action Towns focuses on the power of ‘local’ action, which can include:

  • building resilient food networks
  • adopt neighborhood planning principles in 20 minutes
  • create community renewable energy cooperatives
  • take the climate into account when deciding whether to construct new buildings or renovate and adapt existing ones.


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