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 we face are huge, we can tackle them by forming partnerships, sharing resources, and supporting each other to create a low carbon economy in Scotland. Ian Marchant discussed how the challenges transcend any one organisation “the answer lies together, not separately”. The resources are there, we just need to seize the opportunity to create change, replacing the impossible with possibles. Climate change is not a challenge for the future, it is a challenge for now!
We heard from a range of speakers including Dr Aileen McLeod, Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, members of the 2020 Climate Group and 2050 Climate Group, Lang Banks (WWF) and Professor Jim Skea, RCUK Energy Strategy Fellow and Professor of Sustainable Energy, Imperial College London. There were opportunities to network and create new partnernerships and share ideas. There was discussion about the successes that Scotland has had and what we need to do to achieve our ambitious targets going forward. Dr Aileen McLeod explained that if Scotland’s targets were easy they wouldn’t be ambitious enough.
Perhaps most importantly (for myself anyway), the event created an open environment to share hopes and fears in an honest way and to look forwards to solutions rather than blaming others and making excuses. Elizabeth Dirth (2050 Climate group vice chair) said that “it is okay to feel emotional about climate change”. This was something that really struck a chord with me because the way I feel about climate change is what drives me, it has influenced my career choice, how I spend my free time volunteering, and the discussions I have with my friends round the dinner table. The way I feel about climate change has shaped me as a person. We don’t always mention our feelings when discussing reasons for tackling climate change but perhaps by acknowledging our hopes and fears openly, we are brought together and our mutual cause and will are strengthened.
If you would like to watch a trailer of the event it can be found at:
Post written by Jane Morrison, 2050 Climate Group Member