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Supporting Scotland's vibrant voluntary sector

Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations is the membership organisation for Scotland's charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises. Charity registered in Scotland SC003558. Registered office Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh EH3 6BB.

Climate crisis facts

Zeroing in on Scotland's voluntary sector and the climate crisis

Surveys of SCVO and SENScot members found:


said the climate crisis is very or extremely important




would like to set them


the sector's climate impact or the support needed to meet 2045 net zero targets

* of respondents

Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

What is climate justice/injustice?


Some people and places are more vulnerable than others. Impacts of climate change will not be the same on everyone.


Climate change isn’t felt equally. Examines equality, human rights, collective rights and historic responsibilities for climate change.

Climate change and social justice: an evidence review - Joseph Rowntree Foundation

22% of Scotland’s population are disabled people

Their rights, needs and perspectives have been systematically neglected in national and local re-sponses to a changing climate.

Disabled people have remained largely ‘invisible’

to climate adaptation efforts and their needs and perspectives have tended to be excluded from initiatives to reduce emissions, tackle waste and address pollution in Scotland.

It’s our planet too: Climate change, disabled people and climate action in Scotland - Inclusion Scotland

1 million people in Scotland

are living in areas at high risk of transport poverty.


The social care sector

is impacted by, and contributes to, climate change. The sector needs to be involved in the debate.

Climate Change and Social Care Collective - Hot Report

Factors that make people vulnerable

Typically older people, lower income-groups and tenants feel the impacts of climate change most acutely.

Climate change and social justice: an evidence review - Joseph Rowntree Foundation

Why your organisation should care about climate change? 

  • The Scottish Government has committed to turning Scotland into a carbon neutral country by 2045 and reducing emissions by 75% (compared to 1990) by 2030.
  • The UK is already affected by rising temperatures. The most recent decade (2008-2017) has been on average 0.8 °C warmer than the 1961-1990 average. All ten of the warmest years in the UK have occurred since 1990 with the nine warmest occurring since 2002. 
  • Even if global temperature increases are limited to 2°C or less, in the UK there could be a 30% decrease in river flows during dry periods, a 5-20% increase in river flows during wet periods, and between 700 and 1,000 more heat-related deaths per year in South-East England compared to today. 
  • Increased temperatures, changes to rainfall patterns, and an increased risk of extreme weather events will all negatively affect the production of major food crops such as wheat, rice and maize.  
  • Climate change is expected to make some existing health problems worse. Warmer temperatures could increase the range over which disease-carrying insects are able to survive and thrive. Vulnerable people will be at risk of increased heat exposure and the number of deaths due to temperature extremes is expected to increase. The amount of people at significant risk from flooding is expected to increase and some studies have shown there may be an increase in diseases relating to worsening air pollution. 
  • People on low incomes in both developed and developing countries will be most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Decreasing food production, an increase in health issues associated with climate change, and more extreme weather will impact on those already facing inequality.  

Read the latest evidence about climate change relating to Scottish voluntary organisations on SCVO's evidence library.  

Last modified on 25 July 2022
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