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Extending The Challenge

29th November 2012

Young people will be at the heart of the transition to the low carbon economy, Climate Change Minister Paul Wheelhouse said today.

The minister said that the actions of todays young people and the way this generation live their lives will have a huge bearing on Scotlands ability to meet ambitious climate change targets of an 80 per cent reduction in emissions by 2050. Todays 12 year olds, who will turn 50 in 2050, will be at the heart of the transition to the low carbon economy.

That is why working with young people is central to ambitious plans, announced by Mr Wheelhouse today, to refresh the Climate Challenge Fund (CCF).

The refresh of the CCF will see a suite of new activities taking place, which broaden, deepen and explore the achievements of the Climate Challenge Fund to date. The CCF has already given over 44.7 million to communities to help them cut their carbon footprint since it was established in 2008.

A Youth Panel will be set up to enable young people to be involved in decision making on Junior Climate Challenge Fund projects, to ensure projects are developed by young people for young people and are rooted in young peoples experience.

The refresh will also make the fund more accessible to the most disadvantaged communities, including black and ethnic minorities, offering grants of up to 750 to support the development of applications enabling delivery of climate justice.

The refresh will also see the CCF exploring new approaches to encourage communities to move to low carbon living, by supporting climate adaptation work on a pilot basis, and helping projects to become self sustaining, by allowing them, for the first time, to generate an income from their activity, which can then be reinvested in further low carbon action.

The latest CCF recipients were also announced today. In total, eight projects from the Scottish Borders, Aberdeenshire, Highland, Western Isles, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dumfries and Galloway will share 655,516 funding.

Mr Wheelhouse said:The Climate Challenge Fund empowers communities, helping them to implement innovative solutions to give their community a more sustainable and low-carbon future.

But we must continue to take urgent action to minimise the impact of climate change on the children of today and, indeed, their children who are likely to feel the worsening impact of climate change

The Youth Panel will place young people in the driving seat of the JCCF and will help bring forward the next generation of projects. I look forward to these youth-led projects coming forward, bringing with them fresh and innovative ideas to help communities reduce their carbon emissions.

The CCF must evolve to widen its scope and ensure more communities can develop projects that cut their carbon footprint and embed significant changes into community life.

Introducing development grants will help the CCF to reach out to communities who may not have had the resources to apply previously. This should inspire a new generation of projects which will bring climate action, and justice, to those communities in Scotland that are likely to be the hardest hit by the impact of climate change, but may be the least engaged.

But Scotland cannot act alone. Worldwide action is necessary and thats what Ill be pressing for at the UN climate talks in Doha next week. I want to see more action and higher levels of ambition across the world and I hope other countries will be encouraged to match Scotlands level of ambition.

Louise McDonald, Chief Executive of Young Scot and member of the CCF Grants Panel, said:In the same way as a low-carbon Scotland is about right now, as well as the future, so is young peoples role in making it happen, in homes and communities across the country for every day.

Young Scot knows from the young people we work with that this is an issue that matters to them, so we want to support them as agents of change in leading the way to a low-carbon country which inspires others across the world.

Since its launch in June 2008, the Climate Challenge Fund has supported 399 community groups through 550 grants.