Climate Challenge Fund
Communities across Scotland have been awarded over £4 million from the Climate Challenge Fund to help reduce their carbon footprint and save residents cash.
Successful projects include using wool to insulate homes, a local food network in Fife and Community Power Down, the first cross-community project awarded cash from the Fund.
The Climate Challenge Fund provides a total of £27.4 million to communities over three years to cut their carbon emissions at a local level.
Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said:
"With climate change one of the most serious threats we face globally and locally, I am very pleased to see the Climate Challenge Fund capturing the imagination of many communities across Scotland.
"This trail-blazing fund is empowering communities the length and breadth of Scotland to reduce their carbon footprints.
"So far, more than 200 expressions of interest have been received and 56 projects have been funded. We can look forward to even more communities getting involved in 2009.
"A significant winner this time round is Community Power Down, which will help 27 mainly remote and rural communities to reduce their emissions.
"Another notable winner is the Fife Diet, one of several successful projects aimed at developing local food initiatives. Recycling, sustainable travel and energy efficiency are other strong recurring themes.
"The Scottish Government, along with the Scottish Green Party, has always been clear that Scotland will play a leading role in the international fight against climate change.
"The projects we are funding today show that there is a real appetite across the country to make real and lasting changes that will improve our environment."
Scottish Green Party MSP Patrick Harvie added:
"It is exciting to see so many imaginative and inspirational community projects being successful in this latest round of awards from the Climate Challenge Fund. The Fund was a key part of last year's budget agreement between the Scottish Greens and the Scottish Government, so I take real personal pleasure in seeing it make such a positive difference.
"It is incredibly satisfying to have seen so many applications for funding come in, and for so many to be successful. Communities throughout Scotland are aware of, and concerned by, the growing threat of climate change, and that they want to do their bit to help tackle it.
"The range and scope of the communities and projects receiving awards is incredibly encouraging. Many of the projects are truly groundbreaking and innovative, and their diverse range reflects the wealth of imagination and determination within Scotland's local communities to improve their own quality of life and play their part in the fight against climate change.
"These projects will play a key role in Scotland's efforts to reduce its carbon emissions. They show that by empowering and activating ordinary people in our diverse communities we can work together to make a significant positive difference. This is the great strength of the Climate Challenge Fund. It allows anyone and everyone in Scotland with a good idea, from the cities of the central belt to the small communities of our far-flung islands, to do their bit."
Launched by the Scottish Government with the Scottish Greens in June 2008, the Climate Challenge Fund totals £27.4 million available over three years (2008-2011). The fund is open to applications from community organisations working in partnership with voluntary bodies, charities, colleges, universities, local authorities and housing partnerships to fund projects which demonstrate a significant reduction in emissions. It is part of a wide range of efforts by the Scottish Government to reduce Scotland's carbon emissions by 80 per cent by 2050.