Thoughts and reflections from our volunteers and young leaders

Reflections from Richard Dryburgh as he steps down as Chair of 2050 Climate Group

Richard joined 2050 Climate Group’s team in August 2015 before the first Young Leaders Development Programme was launched, and became Chair in April 2017. He managed this role alongside working full time at Changeworks Recycling, and is now moving on to a job with the Scottish Government. Richard has seen and supported 2050 Climate Group through huge […]

How can young people have a positive impact in your organisation?

It’s Green GB week! Regardless of the debate around how well the UK seems to be doing on the ‘Green’ front (fracking, anyone?), and off the back of our latest event for the Young Leaders Development Programme, ‘Climate Change: Professional’, we thought we’d share some inspiring tales of young people making positive changes in their […]

Guest blog: Rosie Watson’s response to the IPCC Special Report on 1.5 degrees

Note: The views in this blog are my own, and do not represent an organisational standpoint by 2050 Climate Group. The IPCC Special Report on 1.5 degrees was published on Saturday, with a (disappointingly) short blast of media attention. It reports that urgent, transformative action is needed to mitigate severe climate change, at a scale significantly […]

Climate poetry

Climate conversations are often dominated by statistics, numbers and technical terms. We need the science desperately, but we won’t create action through science alone – humans are emotional beings and research shows emotions are what primarily drives our decisions, not logic. Therefore if we are going to create change, creating space for personal and emotional connection […]

Reflections from the 2018 Youth Climate Summit: 3 months late(r)

Today marks 3 months since our 2018 Youth Climate Summit, Just for Youth. Summit organiser and 2050 Climate Group member, Gemma Stenhouse, reflects on some of the event’s highlights. On 28 April, 300 young people came together to discuss Scotland’s Just Transition.  After months of planning, the day was finally here. I’ll admit the energy of […]


Ever wondered what actually happens to the stuff you put in the bin? ISWA YPG‘s theme, #WHATHAPPENSTOMYWASTE? is a global campaign to raise awareness about waste and its diverse impacts on our environment. The challenge: to envision how individuals and communities can recycle more in order to progress towards a world without waste. Kate Chambers, one […]

#Heathrow: business as usual

This morning, we awoke to the news that a third runway to Heathrow airport will go ahead. I rubbed my disbelieving eyes. Could it be true that 415 elected officials believe that access to air travel (for the few) is superior to tackling air pollution (for the many)? Over morning coffee, I read that 415 […]

“You are a part of making a successful future.” – Guest blog by Mike Elm

  “Ask not what a successful future can do for you, ask what you can do for a successful future.”   To mis-quote Kennedy, building a successful future – a big part of which will involve tackling climate change – is about helping yourself, but yourself as part of a community, a society, a civilisation, […]

Siri Pantzar’s Welcome address at #ESIC2018: “Now go change the world, folks!”

My name is Siri Pantzar and I am the Chair of the Policy Subgroup of the 2050 Climate Group. 2050 is an organisation that aims to engage, educate and empower young people to take the lead in solving climate change, mainly through our flagship programme which is called the Young Leaders Development Programme. More on […]

Guest Blog: Kitty Dutton on Scotland’s New Climate Change Plan “Is Scotland leading the way to a low-carbon future?”

It is here! After over a year of consideration, consultation and debate, the Scottish Government has published their third Climate Change Plan. This hefty 222-page document (henceforth the Plan) outlines Scotland’s approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions on a sector-by-sector basis from now until 2032. In some areas it is very ambitious. In others… not […]

Guest Blog: Catriona Patterson on Why She Volunteers with the 2050 Climate Group and Why You Should Too

At the time of writing, the 2050 Climate Group are looking for two new board members and 19 new operational team members to help us continue to develop. It’s made me think about what I’ve gained from being a volunteer for the group, and why I’d recommend it to others. I think when I tell […]

Guest Blog: Lara Fahey’s key learning points on politics and climate change

Last month [January] I went to one of the 2050 Climate Group’s conferences in Edinburgh. The subject this time was politics, and how we can influence politicians to take action on climate change. We heard from many inspiring speakers including those that attended the COP 23 summit in Bonn late last year, a Canadian negotiator for the [...]

Guest Blog: Sarah Cowie’s Reflections as a Young Leader

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has”. Margaret Mead You might not have heard of them, but a group of young people are leading the way in Scotland’s fight against climate change. The 2050 Climate Group was founded in [...]

COP23: Outcomes for transport

By Shona Rawlings, Assistant Transport Planner Earlier this month saw the closing of the 23rd UNFCC Conference of Parties (or COP23) in Bonn, Germany. The event this year was hosted by Fiji and participating states were tasked with negotiating much of the rule book for implementing the 2015 Paris Agreement for when it comes in to effect in […]

COP 23: Reflections

2050 Climate Group team member,  Siri Pantzar, offers some reflections on time spent at COP 23 in Bonn, Germany this November.    It is such a precious thing, this conference. People who are all passionate about climate change, discussing solutions, research, projects, and policies. Everyone is keen. Everyone is interested. Everyone is buzzing. It’s a […]

Plastic Free July – is it possible to avoid single-use plastic for one week?

As part of Plastic Free July, Kate Chambers tried to avoid single-use plastics for one week. Here’s how she got on…   PREPPING Avoiding single-use plastics for one week was going to take planning. I knew that a last minute dash to the supermarket was out of the question, as everything is wrapped in plastic film. […]

Reporting from ECCA 2017, Closing Plenary

To close out an excellent conference, we were asked to participate in the closing plenary of ECCA. Having had 10 2050 Climate Group members participating in the conference, I was asked to close out the conference with some reflections from young people. Throughout the conference, 2050 Climate Group attendees reported back on the outcomes and […]

Reporting from ECCA 2017, Day 2

In the opening plenary of the 3rd European Climate Change Adaptation (ECCA) Conference, it was stressed that young people must be at the heart of climate change. When it comes to the most pressing environmental issue, we are the key stakeholder and part of our role at 2050 is communicating this to other young people. During […]

Reporting from ECCA 2017, Day 1

In the opening plenary of the 3rd European Climate Change Adaptation (ECCA) Conference, it was stressed that young people must be at the heart of climate change. When it comes to the most pressing environmental issue, we are the key stakeholder and part of our role at 2050 is communicating this to other young people. During […]

Food for Thought

We need to lower our carbon footprint! This is something that we hear a lot, but what does it mean and how do we do it? Our carbon footprint is the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere as a result of the actions we take, writes Natalie Sweeney. This includes everything from commuting […]

National Economic Forum 2017

Last Friday, as our new cohort of Young Leaders prepared to travel to Glasgow for the first climate change module of this year’s Young Leaders Development Programme, I stayed up in the Highlands for the National Economic Forum and travelled up to a sunny Inverness. The event kicked off with an opening address from Nicola […]

Climate change isn’t the future, it’s right now

The European Climate Change Adaptation conference comes to Glasgow:   “Climate change? We don’t need to worry about that yet. There are more urgent things we need to sort first.” Many of us will have heard this kind of response when raising the issue of climate change. I know I have. And the framing of […]

Welcoming the YLDP 2017-18

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 […]

The Next Chapter of 2050

When I began the role of Vice Chair of of the 2050 Climate Group, I was 24 years old. I had 2 years working experience in entry level positions. I had never spoken publicly before. I had no leadership experience. I had no management experience. I just had a vision. There was an opportunity in […]

An Interview with Lynette, our Scottish Renewables Award Finalist

Lynette Purves, Board of Trustee and Renewable Energy Lawyer at Burness Paull, speaks to her employer about the 2050 Climate Group and her recent Scottish Renewables Young Professionals Green Energy Awards Nomination.  This past year has been quite some year?! Yes, indeed! If someone had told me 12 months ago that one year later I […]

Youth at the Heart of the UN Negotiations

It’s a pretty existential question to ask two weeks before we fly from Amsterdam and Oxford to Marrakech in Morocco (emitting much CO2) to attend this year’s Conference of the Parties (COP) as civil society observers. Individually, we have no real influence. We have no official voice. We are not decision-makers at the UN level […]

Divesting from Climate Change

Addressing climate change is an enormous challenge requiring global efforts and fundamental changes to how we live. Faced with this difficult task, any person may feel powerless, seeing their own changes in personal lifestyle as inadequate compared to the magnitude of the issue. How can my recycling, cycling to work, and reducing consumption, have a […]

Rejecting Consumption to Take Action on Climate Change

“Our enormously productive economy demands that we make consumption our way of life” Victor Lebow, 1955. Today, 61 years later since it was said, with a global economy determined by consumption growth, these words are even more operative. Rapid consumption growth coupled with the increase in world’s human population is a threat to our planet, the […]

YLDP 6 Month Review

Chair of the 2050 Climate Group, Elizabeth Dirth, shares her thoughts on the success of the Young Leaders Development Programme so far.  A few months ago, I made the decision to go back to tertiary education to undertake a Masters degree in Utrecht.  This decision was about planting myself more firmly in this wicked field […]

2050 YLDP: Waste & Resources Recap

On May 7th, the 2050 Climate Group hosted their second core climate change module at the Edinburgh Zoo. This event, which is part of 2016’s Young Leaders Development Programme, focused on waste and resources. The aim of the day’s event was to understand how can we reduce the environmental impacts associated with resource use while maintaining […]

Mike says “Yes Ve-gan!”

A label worth reading. Like all good average people, this January I went on a diet that lasted about month. But this was no failed resolution, this was ‘Veganuary’. The latest (to my mind) themed month designed to do some good and arbitrarily selected because its name sort of fits with the month’s name eg […]

2050 YLDP: Low Carbon Holiday Special Recap

On February 18th, the 2050 Climate Group held an extra optional event as part of the Young Leaders Development Programme, hosted at the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation. The event was put on in response to feedback from Young Leaders about the overwhelming impact that flights have on their individual carbon footprints – on average […]

2050 YLDP: Energy & Transport Module Recap

January 30th was the first climate module of 2016’s Young Leaders Development Programme, hosted at the University of Strathclyde’s Technology & Innovation Centre in Glasgow. The day gave a broad view of the energy and transport sector and some of the many challenges of transitioning to a low carbon future. In the morning, keynote speakers gave a short lecture on energy […]

Phrases for Paris and Beyond

Mike Elm reflects on his time at COP. There are a lot of phrases that are repeated when it comes to talking about climate change, when you’re forced to go round and round in circles on a topic repetition is inevitable. On my last day at COP21 in Paris, in fact in my last two […]

Richard’s Journey to COP21

Richard Dryburgh shares his journey to COP21 with the 2050 Group. Tackling climate change is a cause I’ve been active in since university and has changed the way I live my life. Today I am travelling to Paris with fellow members of Scotland’s 2050 Climate Group to attend COP21. COP21 is the 21st Conference of […]

The Road to Paris COP21

Elizabeth Dirth shares her story about her “Road to Paris.” In some ways, my road to Paris started when I was 15.  When I decided that the only possible career option for me was working on the challenges and threats to the world and all the people on it. I didn’t know then that this […]

Shona, Sustrans & Paris

This December I’ll be travelling to Paris with fellow members of the 2050 Climate Group, a collection of young professionals from across Scotland who share a commitment to climate change mitigation and adaptation, and accelerating Scotland’s transition to a low carbon economy. The group is presenting a session at the United Nations Climate Change Conference […]

ArtCOP Scotland

ArtCOP Scotland Scotland’s climate change arts season  23rd October – 17th December This winter, ArtCOP Scotland, are inviting you to participate in a season of commissions, performances, exhibitions and events which respond to climate change and imagine more sustainable futures and ways of living. Engaging with what some are calling the most important event […]

Young Leaders Development Programme Launch Night

Last month we launched the Young Leaders Development Programme at the ECCI in Edinburgh. The YLDP will see 120 young leaders follow a series of modules in two core strands: climate change, including ‘Our Energy’, ‘Our Stuff’ and ‘Our Food and Drink’ and leadership, ‘Self Awareness and Values’, ‘Understanding and Influencing Others’ and ‘Leading for […]

Sarah’s Ambition to Stick with Public Transportation

I get public transport to and from my office in the west of Glasgow every day and have always been surprised about how many of my colleagues choose to drive; the office is really well served by trains and several different bus routes so depending on your starting location either bus or train can be […]

2020 Summit

On Friday the 5th of June, coinciding with World Environment Day, the 2020 Climate Group held a summit to celebrate its successes and to look toward the future. The summit attracted delegates from across multiple sectors including government, academics, NGOs, business. The core theme of the day was collaboration, the idea that although the challenges […]

Our Response to Scotland’s Missed Climate Targets

The 2050 Climate Group is aiming to engage their generation in climate action, saying it is vital that everyone works together to meet Scotland’s ambitious climate targets. “Whilst the announcement this week that the climate targets figures have been missed for the fourth year in a row is disappointing, we believe it should act as […]

The Road to Paris

This event was held as part of the Edinburgh International Science Festival at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh. The aim of the event was to establish what a success for the climate might look like, and how this might be achieved at the 21st United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference […]

Digital Changes Everything: Addressing the Elephant in the Room

On the 16th of February 2015 I sat on the panel for the 2020 Climate Group lecture, Digital Changes Everything. The premise of the event was a discussion about digital technology and how it can help tackle climate change. It began with Ian Marchant, the chair of the 2020 Climate Group giving an introduction which […]

33Fifty Event

I am an environmentalist that grew up in the rural Highlands of Scotland, it was here that I fell in love with nature and the landscape which has driven me to work towards tackling climate change and environmental issues both locally and nationally as a young leader in the 2050 Climate Group. Climate change presents […]