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The 2050 Climate Group launches the second year of their Young Leaders Development Programme

May 4th, 2017 Posted by News No Comment yet

The 2050 Climate Group is excited to announce the launch of the second Young Leaders Development Programme (YLDP). Following the success of last year’s YLDP, a new intake of 132 young professionals aged 18-35 will be given the opportunity to enhance their leadership skills and knowledge of climate change, equipping Scotland’s next generation of young leaders with the skill set needed to drive Scotland towards a low carbon future.


Richard Dryburgh, Chair of the 2050 Climate Group, said, “Last year’s inaugural Young Leaders Development Programme exceeded all of our expectations and has given us an impressive platform to build on. This year’s programme has been designed to have even bigger and better impact across our themes of engaging, educating and empowering leaders. With the support of our funders, partners and volunteers, I am very excited to begin ‘YLDP2’ so we can expand our growing network of young leaders in climate action across Scotland.”


The second Young Leaders Development Programme will follow a year-long programme consisting of six modules held across Scotland, as well as an Induction event and a Summit at the end of the year. The core modules cover two specific themes: improving climate change knowledge and enhancing leadership skills. Throughout the programme, participants are also encouraged to actively implement what they have learnt through a range of “actions”, which aim to provide the necessary steps to a more sustainable Scotland.  


Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, Roseanna Cunningham MSP at the induction of the Young Leaders Development Programme last Thursday, said, “It’s great to launch the second year of the Young Leaders Development Programme. I look forward to seeing this innovative programme go from strength to strength, helping us ensure that Scotland remains at the forefront of climate change action. I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank all the members of the 2050 Climate Group for their valuable contributions to Scotland’s action on climate change through the engagement, education and empowerment of future young leaders.

The 2050 Climate Group has been shortlisted as ‘NGO of the Year’ by BusinessGreen’s Leaders Awards 2017

May 2nd, 2017 Posted by News No Comment yet

The 2050 Climate Group work with young people across Scotland, engaging, educating and empowering them to take action on climate change and lead Scotland’s transition to a low carbon future. Through their Young Leaders Development Programme (YLDP), the 2050 Climate Group provides climate change education and leadership training to young people, aged 18-35. It is through this programme that the group hopes to inspire young people to take action on climate change and be catalysts for change in Scotland. Last year, the group successfully ran their first year of the YLDP with 150 young leaders taking part.

The fact that the 2050 Climate Group has been shortlisted for the BusinessGreen ‘NGO of the Year’ award, part of the BusinessGreen Leader’s Awards 2017, recognises our valuable contribution to building young people’s confidence to be leaders on responding to the challenges of climate change. The Group itself is made up of students and young professionals based across Scotland volunteering their efforts to a truly energetic and purposeful movement. The 2050 Climate Group hosted Scotland’s Youth Climate Summits in 2014 and 2016, as well as represented Scotland at the UN Climate Change conferences in Paris and Marrakech the past two years.

Richard Dryburgh, Chair of the 2050 Climate Group, said “We are delighted to be shortlisted for such a prestigious award. This shows the huge impact we have made in such a short time and is a credit to our volunteers, young leaders and supportive partners. Having only incorporated earlier this year and to be nominated alongside such impressive, established organisations speaks volumes for the need for climate leadership across our generation.”

On the nomination, Ann McKechin, Trustee and Executive Officer of the ScottishPower Foundation, said: “Our charity Foundation is delighted to have financially supported the inspiring work of the 2050 Climate Group over the last two years. This nomination rightly recognises the leadership potential amongst young people in the fight against Climate Change and this innovative project will hopefully allow many more of them to reach their potential.”

Louise Macdonald, CEO of Young Scot, said: “For Scotland to become a low carbon nation, we need to look to our young leaders to inspire action on climate change. Programmes like The 2050 Climate Group’s Young Leaders Development Programme offers excellent opportunities for young people to make their voices heard. Young people are best placed to take the lead on climate action and I’d encourage all young people who want to see a greener future for all to apply.”

View BusinessGreen Leaders Awards 2017 Shortlist

Blog Twenty: Welcoming the YLDP 2017-18

April 28th, 2017 Posted by Blogs No Comment yet

Last night I had the honour of launching the 2nd year of the 2050 Climate Group’s Young Leaders Development Programme at the ECCI in Edinburgh alongside Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform,  Roseanna Cunningham MSP. To see a room filled with well over 100 young professionals from across Scotland and across various sectors was extremely exciting. The recruitment process this year was incredibly competitive with demand ever increasing, surely Scotland is in a very strong position moving forward with this kind of interest in a climate change leadership course.

My name is Richard Dryburgh, I’m lucky enough to be the new Chair of the 2050 Climate Group. This is a position I’ve held for around two weeks now so I’m still learning the ropes. I’ve recently been passed the baton from Elizabeth Dirth and vice chairs Mike and Chris, who have done an amazing job over the last year or so.

So who are the 2050 Climate Group?

For those who don’t know, we formed in 2014 and are a group of young professionals and students from across Scotland’s public, private and third sectors. Our aim is to engage, educate and empower future leaders to take action on climate change. We have a board of around 25 and recently took on 40 new operational team members to help us deliver our work. I should stress that we are all volunteers, we have one member of staff who keeps us all in check, but we are all working on this is because we care and all work is done in our own time.

Our main piece of work is our Young Leaders Development Programme (YLDP). Bringing talented and passionate young people together to work on their leadership skills whilst developing knowledge of climate change solutions – this enables a strong network of 2050 leaders across Scottish society that mainstreams climate action within our generation and indeed all generations. Alongside our YLDP, we also have a team working on keeping our alumni engaged and connected. The idea being here that in 4 or 5 years time we will have a network of over 500 2050 Graduates who can all work together and speak up for climate action within their own spheres of influence. We also have a policy team which feeds into national and international policy to give a voice to our network and to our generation. Finally, we have a communications team who help keep all of us connected, but also share our work externally. So there is lots going on!

Members of the 2050 Climate Group with Roseanna Cunnigham MSP (Pictured L to R: Ben Taylor, David Hogg, Rebecca DeVivo, Roseanna Cunningham MSP, Richard Dryburgh, Jamie Wylie, Karen Cornfield)

The reason why we are all here doing this? Climate Change.

Climate Change is a huge global issue which often seems impossible to tackle, impossible to conceptualise and impossible to deal with. At the induction last night, I played this short video made by the UN and narrated by Morgan Freeman which outlines an alternative future for the planet. . I wanted to quickly touch on a few points raised at the end of the video which are particularly relevant.

  1. Beyond our doubts and differences, such a future does exist. We don’t know all the solutions to climate change, but we know a lot of them. This future will happen, it has to. By the year 2050, transformational change will have happened across Scotland and the world. Because it has to.
  2. We must stop getting stuck in the doom and gloom and instead turn towards the partnerships and solutions we need.

We must turn apathy into action. To do this, we need to stop debating the science and instead focus on debating the solutions. In terms of positive success stories, I’m not sure how many of you have seen the viral video by ATTN on Facebook? The one that shows Scotland leading the way on renewable energy. Although there is lots of bagpipes and Scottish stereotypes in the video, it shows Scottish leadership in a positive light and has clearly engaged a mass audience, with over 20 million views and 250,000 shares. If we focus on positive solutions and success stories such as this, we are moving in the right direction.

And the YLDP is certainly one of those success stories, large groups of young people from across society, getting together on Thursday nights and Saturday mornings to become climate leaders. The potential of this group really has no ceiling and I hope this year’s young leaders will be able to look back at this opportunity in a few years time and say I was there at the beginning of that movement.

We are lucky in Scotland to have politicians who have given climate action a high priority across all parties. But we still need to speak up and give a voice to our generation. It is incredibly important that climate change, as an issue that will largely affect our generation, is worked on with solutions and politics that are inclusive of our generation.

There is a lot of people on our side, not least our partners. Young Scot and ECCI continue to support us as do Scottish Water, ScottishPower Foundation, SEPA & The Scottish Government.

Without them we simply wouldn’t be able to function, so we are tremendously grateful.


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