COMMUNITIES, public bodies and businesses across Scotland are being urged to come together to spark innovative ways of tackling climate change.

Behind the move is the first energy company in the UK to generate 100% green electricity, one of Scotland’s leading environmental organisations and Scotland’s public-sector climate change network.

With just under a year to go until the UN’s COP26 climate change summit in Glasgow, ScottishPower, WWF Scotland and the Sustainable Scotland Network will launch their Climate Collaboration Challenge a week today. They hope to combine the energy, skills, resources and knowledge of businesses, industry, public agencies, financial institutions and civil society from across the country.

Dr Sam Gardner, head of climate change and sustainability at ScottishPower, said: “We know the only way we can truly tackle climate change is by working together, but sometimes identifying who to work with or where you can access funding can be a stopper on some ideas that have truly great potential.

“In teaming up with WWF Scotland and the Sustainable Scotland Network we hope that we can help facilitate conversations, drive forward ideas and ultimately come up with innovative plans that can be put into action to make a real difference to

our planet.”

The launch event will take place virtually and will include the following speakers – Nigel Topping, High Level Action Champion for COP26; Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham; ScottishPower’s CEO Keith Anderson; Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, leader, climate and energy practice, WWF International; and Kathryn Dapre, chair of sustainable Scotland Network.

Following on from the event, there will be opportunities for those in attendance to attend future workshops and discuss the issue they are hoping to tackle, what actions they hope to take and how they can collaborate to make their idea a reality.

Lang Banks, director of WWF Scotland said: “We’re already feeling the impacts of climate change here and around the world, and it’s vital we accelerate action to slash our emissions. By holding these events virtually, we hope to bring people, companies, and other organisations, whose paths may not usually cross, together.

“It would be really meaningful if we could join up a wide range of different ideas from right across Scotland to deliver real solutions to the problems driving climate change.”

Dapre said: “Scotland’s public sector bodies will be critical in enabling the shift to net zero emissions and securing the opportunities of a green recovery from the current public

health emergency.”

Glasgow Chamber of Commerce chief executive Stuart Patrick said: “COP26 is a truly global event where we have a unique opportunity to showcase what Glasgow and the whole of Scotland is doing to combat climate change and highlight our innovations and collaborations to a worldwide audience.

“It is imperative and beneficial for businesses to adopt circular practices and introduce brilliant solutions and partnerships that help tackle the climate emergency, and the COP26 Climate Collaboration Challenge is a fantastic initiative aimed at helping achieve that throughout Scotland.”

Glasgow Science Centre hopes the challenge can provide the motivation needed to get all sectors involved in finding ways to tackle climate change.

The centre’s climate change programme manager Emma Woodham, said: “Our aim is to provide a platform for people of all ages and background to engage with COP26. Partnerships are key to achieving this, and we are excited by the cross-disciplinary approach taken by the challenge and look forward to hearing more.”

Anyone who wants to get involved in the challenge is asked to visit ScottishPower’s website by Friday.