MacDonald welcomes £146,000 award to CATCA from Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund


Falkirk East MSP Angus MacDonald has welcomed a £146,000 award to Communities Along the Carron Association (CATCA) announced by the Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse at the Kelpies this week.

The award is part of a groundswell of activity to make Scotland a greener, more environmentally conscious place.

CATCA are the 500th community group to receive an award from the Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund. Thanks to the funding, the local Communities Along the Carron Association will run the innovative CREATES  project to cut carbon emissions in the area with more cycle journeys and a sustainable food initiative in local schools, which the whole community can benefit from.

The initiative is receiving £146,112.19 from the CCF to work in partnership with Sustrans Scotland. It will work with schools and businesses in Larbert and Stenhousemuir to encourage lower carbon travel by bike through cycle training, route planning and maintenance workshops.  Further reductions in carbon emissions will result as the project promotes local, sustainable food and community growing space is created in school grounds.

Welcoming the news, Angus MacDonald said:

“This is a tremendous award to a group I know to have environmental improvements at its heart. Since its formation the work CATCA have done locally to date is exemplary, and I am sure this project will also bring great results. The partnership with Sustrans will help deliver further reductions in carbon emissions – something we all must take seriously and play our part in.”

Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse said:

“As the evidence presented by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change shows, climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing mankind and the environment on which we depend. It is a challenge for the entire global community, and it requires urgent attention at local, national and international level. Given the importance of action at the local level, I am delighted that more than 500 communities across Scotland have now elected to take voluntary action to address the impacts and causes of climate change within their local areas. This demonstrates an impressive strength and commitment to tackle climate change at a community level, because it is real and because it matters to ordinary people.

“Next year, a new global treaty on climate change will be signed in Paris. By the actions and commitments of over 500 communities, supporting our world leading ambitions at a national level, we are sending the most compelling statement to the global community in the build-up to  Paris in just over 12 months’ time that the people of Scotland are committed to tackling climate change.

“The Climate Challenge Fund was set up in 2008 to encourage community action on emissions but the benefits are much wider, including improving health and well-being by encouraging active travel and boosting community facilities. The CCF also helps reduce domestic fuel costs.

“CATCA CREATES is a fantastic project and is a very worthy 500th recipient of Climate Challenge funding. I look forward to seeing the project succeed and to seeing the undoubtedly positive impact it will have for children and adults alike in the Larbert and Stenhousemuir community. The area is on the doorstep of The Kelpies landmark where it is perhaps only fitting we meet to celebrate Scotland’s landmark achievement.”

Christine Bell, Project Officer at CATCA said:

“Being the 500th community to be awarded a Climate Challenge Fund grant is an honour and we look forward to working with the local community to help people travel more sustainably and grow food locally.

“Our partnership with Sustrans Scotland will include activities to help local schools and businesses swap car journeys for those by cycle and foot, reducing carbon emissions, improving air quality and creating safer streets. 

“We are also excited to be creating community growing spaces in school grounds which will enable us to nurture the next generation of guardians for our environment as well as reducing carbon emissions.”

Derek Robertson,Chief Executive at Keep Scotland Beautiful, said:

“Keep Scotland Beautiful is very proud to have supported community action on climate change in over 500 communities through our management and development of the Climate Challenge Fund on behalf of the Scottish Government and see it as part of our work to help make Scotland clean and green, today and tomorrow.”

Copyright © Angus MacDonald MSP 2017

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