Cllr Karl Rosie reflects on the success of the first Highland Climate Festival

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Thurso and Northwest Caithness Councilor Karl Rosie said it was encouraging to see how “motivated” people in the area are when it comes to climate change.

He was commenting after the Highland Climate Festival 2022 and, together with Highland Adapts (HA) and the North Highlands & Islands Climate Hub (NHICH), expressed his heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped create this “fantastic” event.

Cllr Rosie, Chair of the Council’s Climate Change Committee, said: ‘Great to hear of the support and positive feedback from the inaugural Highland Climate Festival.

“The council’s and wider region’s journey to raise awareness of climate change and climate adaptation is at a critical juncture and it is hugely encouraging to see how motivated individuals are at Highland.”

Thurso and Northwest Caithness Councilor Karl Rosie. Photo: DGS

In addition, the public impressed the organizers with their “sustained enthusiasm” to engage region-wide in the festival celebrations. The HA and NHICH team were overwhelmed with the level of enthusiasm shown for the inaugural festival and greatly appreciate all the support received.

The festival was organized by HA, a partnership that brings together organizations such as Highland Council, NHS Highland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise to facilitate transformational climate action, and NHICH, 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 success across the region, I think plans are currently underway to return bigger and better next year; with even more events, communities and organizations involved.

Dates for the festival for 2023 have yet to be confirmed but “excitement is building with a lot of interest in participating already expressed”, a council spokesperson said.

Joan Lawrie, Project Manager at NHICH, said: “The North Highlands & Islands Climate Hub was delighted to have coordinated and funded the first successful Highlands Climate Festival.

“With 22 community groups across the region funded – and over 100 events underway – the launch of the Highland Community Waste Partnership and the Highland Climate Charter over the week, successful momentum has been built towards positive climate action in across Highland. We are currently gathering feedback from groups involved in organizing the festival and looking forward to contributing their ideas into a future festival for 2023.”

Great response was also generated for the Highland Climate Charter, developed by the Highland Adapts Climate Advocates team, which was launched at the start 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 organizations working together to create a climate-ready Highland.

Katie Andrews, Highland Council Climate Change Coordinator and Project Manager for HA, said: “The Highland Adapts team is asking people to sign the Highland Climate Charter and show their support for taking 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’s important to sign the charter and make that commitment every day, because the more signatures there are, the more people will be encouraged to join the agreement to transform Highland into a prosperous and climate-ready region.


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