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Cllr Karl Rosie reflects on success of Highland’s first Climate Festival

By David G Scott

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Thurso and Northwest Caithness councillor Karl Rosie said it was encouraging to see how "motivated" people are in the region with regard to climate change.

He was commenting after the Highland Climate Festival 2022 and, along with Highland Adapts (HA) and the North Highlands & Islands Climate Hub (NHICH), expressed his sincere thanks to all who helped create the "fantastic" event.

Cllr Rosie, chair of the council’s Climate Change Committee, said: “It is brilliant to hear about the support and positive feedback from the first Highland Climate Festival.

"The council and the wider region’s journey to building awareness around climate change and climate adaptation is at a critical point and it is extremely encouraging to see how motivated individuals are in Highland.”

Thurso and Northwest Caithness councillor Karl Rosie. Picture: DGS
Thurso and Northwest Caithness councillor Karl Rosie. Picture: DGS

In addition, the public impressed organisers with its "sustained enthusiasm" to get involved region-wide with the festival celebrations. The team at HA and the NHICH were overwhelmed at the level of excitement shown towards the inaugural festival and greatly appreciate all the support received.

The festival was organised by HA, a partnership which brings organisations including Highland Council, NHS Highland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise together to facilitate transformational climate action, and the NHICH, which is part of a network funded by the Scottish Government supporting community-led climate action.

Cllr Rosie added: “As last month’s festival was a huge hit across the region, I believe plans are currently in motion to come back bigger and better for next year; with even more events, communities and organisations involved.”

The festival dates for 2023 are still to be confirmed but "excitement is building with lots of interest to take part already been expressed", said a council spokesperson.

Joan Lawrie, project manager at the NHICH said: “The North Highlands & Islands Climate Hub were delighted to have coordinated and funded the first successful Highland Climate Festival.

"With 22 community groups across the region funded – and over 100 events taking place – the launch of the Highland Community Waste Partnership and Highland Climate Charter during the week, a successful momentum has been built towards positive climate action across Highland. We’re currently collating feedback from the groups involved in staging the festival and looking forward to bringing their ideas into a future festival for 2023.”

A great response has also been generated for the Highland Climate Charter, developed by the Highland Adapts Climate Advocates Team, which launched at the beginning of the festival week. The charter aims to build momentum by raising awareness of climate change and its impacts, through a collaboration of individuals, communities, businesses and organisations working together to create a climate-ready Highland.

Katie Andrews, climate change coordinator at the Highland Council and project support for HA said: “The Highland Adapts team are asking people to sign the Highland Climate Charter and show their support to take meaningful climate action.”

To find out more about the Highland Climate Charter and how you can sign-up, please visit: highlandadapts.scot/highland-climate-charter-2/

It is important to sign the charter and make this everyday commitment as the more signatures received, the more people will be encouraged to join the agreement to transform Highland into a prosperous, climate ready region.

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