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Council / Lots of interest in event highlighting the challenges of climate change

There were plenty of discussion on the many aspects of climate change. Photo: Dave Donaldson

THIS YEAR’S climate festival showcasing work relating to climate change, energy and biodiversity happening across Shetland kicked off on especially busy day in Lerwick with Shetland Pride also taking place just around the corner.

The event at the Clickimin Centre’s bowling hall was well attended and hosted a number of stalls, workshops and talks about the impacts of climate change for the islands and beyond.

In the morning, a number of sessions were held including discussions about energy efficiency for local businesses held by Ryan Felber of Business Energy Scotland, the natural history of Shetland by Esther Renwick from Historic Environment Scotland, and the science behind climate change by Elliot Tait.

The afternoon sessions continued with a talk by Dr Susan Laidlaw about the health impacts of climate change and a presentation on the blue carbon habitats around Shetland held by Tanya Riley, among other things.

Some educational sessions were also held on wind energy by Shetland Aerogenerators and on biodiversity around the Clickimin Loch with a guided walk by the RSPB.

Throughout the event, a main exhibition took place with local exhibitors, businesses and agencies working directly with climate change.

The first ever climate craft fair was also hosted with a number of craft stalls showcasing locally-produced and carbon-neutral products.

(Left to right) Lizzy Clarke, Claire Ferguson and Brydon Sinclair of the council’t climate change strategy unit. Photo: Dave Donaldson

Plenty of opportunities for young people and bairns to engage with the various aspects of climate change and new technologies were available in the Kidz Zone, hosted by Skills Development Scotland & Developing the Young Workforce officers.

Moreover, BookBug and the Shetland Library staff joined forces to offer a space for pre-schoolers and their families to enjoy.

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Claire Ferguson, team leader of the SIC climate change strategy unit, said: “This year’s climate festival was great, we had a solid turnout and people have showed a lot of interest in the many local stalls exhibited today.

“Many of activities for the bairns, such as the BookBug and face painting, were introduced for the first time and have provided a great opportunity for families to join in today as well.

“The craft fair was also a new addition this year, highlighting how climate change is not only industry related, but rather something that spans across creative and cultural sectors too. This is something we really wanted to highlight throughout the festival.”

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