Welcome to our website. Friends of the Earth Tayside is one of ten local groups of Friends of the Earth Scotland. If you live in Dundee, Angus or Perth & Kinross we are your local group. We are also the closest local group for North Fife. Our next meeting is on 26 April 2017 – see below for details.
Joint working with other environmental organisations
Since setting up the Directory of Green Groups in Dundee and Tayside in January 2014, a series of collaborative meetings has been held to get to know each other better and look at where we can benefit from working together. We have held meetings focusing on Energy and Climate Change, Nature and Environmental Protection, and Sustainable Travel. We met City Planners to discuss the Dundee Waterfront redevelopment in May 2015, followed by further discussions. In June 2015 we held a Midsummer picnic/barbecue to get to know each other better. In June 2016 we met John Alexander, Dundee City Council Convenor of Neighbourhood Services, and several of his officers responsible for different aspects of environmental management, as a prelude to the setting up of an Environmental Forum by the City Council. In November 2016 we held a seminar on Air Pollution and Public Health, looking at the situation in Dundee.
If you’d like to get involved in future events, let us know via the Contact page.
Climate Change is a major campaign issue following the UN Paris Conference at the end of 2015. Now the emphasis will be on promoting the transition to a Fossil Free Scotland: Fighting against dirty energy; promoting community renewables; and arguing for a shift in investment from one to the other. Encouraging pension funds to invest in renewables is a priority to work on.
The campaign against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the twin deal with Canada, CETA, has also brought together a range of organisations and individuals (see here). There are concerns that these proposed deals would boost corporate profits by removing “non-tariff barriers to trade and investment” such as environmental safeguards, hard-won workers’ rights, animal welfare regulations and local food networks. Now that CETA has been approved by the EU, we will continue to argue for fairer trade deals as the UK begins the Brexit process.
Following the dramatic success in June 2013 of our campaign (with others) to persuade Dundee councillors to object to the Forth Energy biomass power station proposed for Dundee, Scottish and Southern Electricity pulled out of the biomass sector and dropped its proposal for Dundee. We can breathe a sigh of relief that Dundee will not be subjected to such a poorly conceived, environmentally damaging and economically ludicrous project.
Air pollution is mainly caused by road traffic. We are working with FoE Scotland to highlight this issue in the media, and organised a major public event to raise awareness of the issue on 30 November last year, with support from the City Council. We submitted a detailed response to the application for planning consent for a new energy-from-waste incinerator at Baldovie, in February 2017, pressing for increased levels of recycling and reuse of waste materials. We are also arguing for better provision for walkers and cyclists in the mega-millions Waterfront project. And we have been looking at plans for a major investment in sea defences along Dundee’s shoreline as climate change causes sea levels to rise and storms to become more destructive.
We continue to manage Beachwatch cleanups along the Dundee and Angus shoreline in September each year. In June 2015 we organised (with the One World Centre) an event for senior school pupils across Dundee to raise the awareness of young people about the wider impacts of their choices and actions.
We haven’t forgotten Angus, Perthshire and North Fife, but need more members from these areas to bring local issues forward. We’re aware of a proposal for a large biomass plant at Inveralmond in Perth, using virgin wood, which would be environmentally damaging and add to air pollution in Perth. There has been little news of this recently, however.
If you agree with what we are doing, why not join Friends of the Earth Tayside and help us in our future campaigns? We will need plenty of support!
We normally meet at 7.00 p.m. on the last Wednesday of every month except December. The venue varies. Sometimes we vary the date to fit in with people’s availability, so please check the events page for any changes of date, time or venue.
All are welcome to our meetings – you don’t have to be a member to come and meet us, and raise issues that are important to you. The next meeting is our AGM, on Wednesday 26 April, at 7 pm, at the Methodist Church, 20 West Marketgait, Dundee DD1 1QR). Contact us for more details of the meeting and venue.