Young people across the country are taking the lead in a new project to help drive Scotland’s transition to a low carbon society as part of the Low Carbon Scotland Public Engagement Strategy.

Developed by The Scottish Government in partnership with Young Scot, the national youth information agency for Scotland, the project involves three teams of 12 to 19 year old volunteers who will look at how their communities will change in a low carbon Scotland.

These “local youth investigation teams”, from Balfron in Stirling, Lochgilphead in Argyll and Bute and Kilmarnock in East Ayrshire, will focus on a range of issues including:

* Action their local communities are taking to tackle climate change
* The implications of a low carbon economy for farming and rural land use
* The benefits of green tourism
* How renewable energy will impact on their local communities

The project will include a national discussion day giving more young people across the country the chance to get together and share their views. Participants will publish a report of the findings and will have an opportunity to act as ambassadors in sharing information with their peers.

Engagement with young people is a key element of the Low Carbon Scotland Public Engagement Strategy which will be discussed at the Committee on Climate Change on Tuesday.

Part of the Climate Change Act, the strategy sets out how the Scottish Government will work with others to promote the job opportunities that a low carbon Scotland can bring. It also highlights what people can do in their daily lives to save energy and contribute to Scotland’s climate change targets.

Minister for the Environment and Climate Change Roseanna Cunningham said:

“The young people of Scotland have a critical part to play in securing our low carbon future.

“Not only can they offer a fresh perspective on how to reduce carbon emissions today – they will also see huge changes in their lifetime as a result of our efforts to tackle climate change. So it’s essential that they take a key role in driving forward our low carbon plans.

“That’s why we’ve worked with Young Scot to set up local youth investigation teams, which will look at how their communities will be affected by Scotland’s transition into a low carbon economy.

“These young people have an ambitious agenda, and they can make a real difference to Scotland’s future. I’m looking forward to seeing what they come up with.”

Louise Macdonald, Chief Executive at Young Scot, said:

“Young Scot is thrilled to be working with young people and the Scottish Government on the Low Carbon Scotland Public Engagement Strategy.

“Making sure that young people’s views are heard on issues like this is of real importance, and we look forward to supporting the local youth investigation teams to explore the issues and come up with ideas that will directly influence the strategy.

“I hope the young people taking part will inspire others to get involved and help reduce carbon emissions in their communities, now, and in the future.”

Local youth investigation teams include young people from Balfron High School, Lochgilphead Joint Campus School and Rathbone Training in Kilmarnock.

Young Scot provides all young people in Scotland aged 11-26 with information, ideas and incentives to enable them to make informed decisions and choices, turn their ideas into action and take advantage of opportunities available throughout Scotland and Europe.

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