Scottish charities and community groups across the country come together for action on climate change this Climate Fringe Festival

  • 08 Jun 2023
  • Written by Bruno Santos
  • Blog, Climate Fringe Festival

Just 2 days away, the Climate Fringe Festival will bring together community groups and organisations from across Scotland between the 10th and 18th June.

With local events happening across the country, this is a perfect opportunity to engage and inspire people at a local and national level on the need to take a clear stance in the climate and nature crises we are facing.

Despite being amongst the first governments worldwide to declare a climate emergency and committing to the most ambitious targets within the UK to decarbonise the country, Scotland is not making the progress needed to meet its promises. In its latest report, the Climate Change Committee (the independent body that advises the Government on climate change) warns that this makes meeting its targets to reduce emissions increasingly at risk of being missed, and that it is “still not delivering key milestones such as energy efficiency in homes and peatland restoration.”

With a new First Minister taking over Holyrood, we are at a crucial point to mobilise people across the country. People from all walks of life will be taking part this Climate Fringe Festival, generating conversation about the climate and nature emergencies, and raising awareness of the need to move towards a greener, low carbon, more sustainable future.

A variety of groups and organisations – from the Caithness and Sutherland to Dumfries and Galloway – have already joined, with over 50 events listed in our calendar and more still to come. Below is what the organisers of some of these groups had to say about their events.

Black & Scot, a group that promotes the inclusive representation of black people in the digital sector, will host “The Climate Gap – Opportunities for Black People in Green Economy”.


Timi Adegunwa, Founder and Chair of Black & Scot

In Scotland, Black people are under-represented in the climate movement. Black and Scot hopes to champion the cause for inclusion by establishing the ‘Climate Gap’ to begin the ‘NOW’ conversations. Inclusion ensures our collective strength in the fight against climate change. Our participation in the Climate Fringe festival embraces diverse perspectives, highlight the inequalities, and opportunities to close the gap. Together, we can dismantle systemic barriers and forge a sustainable future where environmental justice knows no bounds.” – Timi Adegunwa, Founder and Chair of Black & Scot

Halladale Film Club, a community organisation in Caithness and Sutherland, will host the event “Do What You Can”, including a screening of Fashion Reimagined and a clothes swap to raise awareness on the effects of fast fashion.

“I saw the film Fashion Reimagined and was inspired to feel that working with others to make this event in my community I could be a small part of halting the climate emergency.”  – Alex Patience, Organiser from Hallandale Film Club.

Our attitude to clothes and textiles has become so wasteful. It needs to change and clothes swap can make a difference. I am very happy to see us divert textiles from landfill.” – Oksana Iatsiuta, Climate Development Officer

Oksana, Carol & Alex, Organisers of Do What You Can event

Now on its third edition, with the first Climate Fringe Week happening in the run-up to COP26 and the second one last September, the Climate Fringe Festival has seen hundreds of events taking place throughout the country. One such event was the ‘Meanwhile in Leith Festival’, organised by Leith Community Growers, a community group based in Leith.

Meanwhile in Leith Festival, photo by Natalie Dawson

Meanwhile in Leith Festival, photo by Natalie Dawson

“Our Vision for the Meanwhile in Leith Festival was to bring together the vibrant and socially diverse community of Leith at our temporary growing space – the Meanwhile Site. As an endangered green space in Leith, we wanted to highlight the urban issue of land justice in a city that is devoted to development and economic growth over the provision of green, growing or outdoor space for community activities. We wanted to create a day to celebrate our harvest, local artists, community organisations and residents, for all of Leith to share the joy of growing and dedicate this festival to reconnecting with nature, culture and community. It was a great success and we welcomed more than 150 folk and several dogs to our wee space to share and celebrate some of the brilliant things that happen at the Meanwhile Site.” -Alva-Louisa Rose, Community & Communications Coordinator

Anyone and everyone interested in getting involved are encouraged to visit the the Climate Fringe Festival Calendar and join events happening in their local area.

Together, we can send a clear message to all decision-makers that Scotland wants meaningful action that puts us on track towards a greener, low carbon, more sustainable future!

  • Bruno Santos

    Bruno coordinates the Climate Fringe platform and Climate Fringe Festival, working closely with event organisers to support and promote their work. Previously, he worked with the COP26 Coalition, collaborating with SCCS to develop a joint volunteering programme. He has been active within the Food Justice and Migrant Justice movements, co-founded the food collective Nourishing Change and coordinated food access operations for refugees and displaced people in Calais, France.