Learning for Sustainability in Falkirk

Introducing our Falkirk Council Climate Change Team


What is the latest international data on climate change and how can it be accessed?

The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) published the technical report on the impact of humans on climate change on 9th August 2021 (headline statements available here). As part of their 6th International Assessment Review of climate change, they have shared their data via an interactive digital atlas available here.

Why did Falkirk Council create a Climate Change Team?

Globally the aim is to maintain a limit to the temperature increase that the planet will undergo as a result of emissions into our atmosphere. The best-case scenario is limiting this to 1.5 degrees to mitigate the worst of a systematic collapse of our ecosystems.

The Paris Accord agreement was ratified at the last Climate Conference of Parties (COP 24) in 2013 and established a carbon budget amount of emissions required for each country to meet this 1.5 degree limit. Falkirk Council received a carbon budget to last until 2050, but (as the largest emitter in Scotland) exhausted this in 2020.

The Climate Change Team

Mari-Claire Morgan is the Lead Climate Change Officer for Falkirk Council working with a 5 person team on all issues relating to energy efficiency and climate change/adaptation. The climate change team work with all services across the Council, but here are some of the ways in which they may be able to support Children’s Services, your school/setting, and you as a practitioner or senior leader.

  1. acting as a valuable resource to help practitioners, ELCCs and schools directly with projects, information and support.
  2. working directly with us/you to find ways to reduce the council’s/your school’s/centre’s impact of emissions
  3. helping us/you to find ways to embed climate change ideas and actions into daily life/routines
  4. connecting us with our community partners in the Falkirk Area.
  5. providing practical support with planning and resourcing related teaching and learning
  6. developing policies and strategies and making sure these relate to national education policies and corporate Council requirements.
  7. showcasing the ways in which your school/setting/pupils and staff are working to reduce your emissions impact.

Jane Jackson and Yvonne McBlain, education support officers with Falkirk Children’s Services were delighted to meet with the team in June 2021. They are currently exploring how collaborating further could enhance our Falkirk Learning for Sustainability Framework and the ways in which teaching and learning can be linked to COP 26 in Glasgow in November 2021 (see our COP 26 support post here).

How are the team already engaging with education staff and pupils?

The Climate Change Team engage regularly with staff and young people from our secondary schools in the Climate Change Action Cross-party Working Group. Elected members of our Council attend these meetings to ensure that pupil’s thoughts and opinions relating to climate change initiatives are built into Council policy. This work connects with UNCRC and pupil participation/voice developments within Children’s Services and the Children’s Rights and Engagement Group (more information about this work here). Jane and Yvonne are working with colleagues and the climate change team to align and streamline these very similar workstreams to integrate UNCRC and pupil participation/voice across our service and council.

Some of the other ways in which the team can help:

  • Look at curricular materials for students (primary and secondary)
  • Deliver various themed engagement workshops (All levels of teaching/ primary and secondary pupils)
  • Be part of school events such as ‘World of Work Week’ ‘Earth Hour’ ‘Climate Week’
  • Help with energy audits (in a similar version to ECO Schools)
  • Assist with Eco School objectives
  • Present energy use in buildings (both to pupils, as well as, teachers)
  • Work with schools to look at reducing their emissions impact both in terms of occupancy behaviour and energy consumption

Comment below or find out more by emailing: yvonne.mcblain@falkirk.gov.uk or jane.jackson@falkirk.gov.uk


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