Scottish focus as international experts gather at Holyrood for climate change debate


Scotland’s contribution to global efforts to challenge climate change will be explored at a high-profile conference featuring an international delegation at the Scottish Parliament next week.

Delegates representing countries as far afield as the Maldives, the United States and Bangladesh will join experts in marine conservation, European and Canadian environmental experts and a wide range of organisations from Scotland for the Scotland and Climate Change – Getting it Right event. The conference will discuss and debate the key climate-change issues around the world, and consider how new legislation could put Scotland at the forefront of global climate change efforts.

The conference, which is split into two parts, will be held in the main chamber of the Scottish Parliament on Friday 27 March. The morning debate will focus on the international perspective while the afternoon discussion will look at Scotland and the Climate Change (Scotland) Bill, in particular considering how this legislation fits with global efforts.

Speakers on the day include:

  • Dr David Guggenheim – an internationally renowned marine scientist from the United States, ocean explorer, submarine pilot, leading figure in conservation policy and president of 1planet1ocean;
  • Ahmed Moosa, Presidential Envoy for Science and Technology, the Republic of Maldives;
  • Dr Ian Burton – Scientist Emeritus with the Adaptation and Impacts Research Group branch of the Meteorological Service of Canada and Adjunct Professor with the Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Toronto;
  • Don Brown, Associate Professor of Environmental Ethics, Science and Law at Penn State University in the United States, an expert on the ethics of climate change;
  • Forhadul Islam, Counsellor Political with the Bangladesh High Commission
  • Stewart Stevenson MSP – Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change;
  • Simon Pepper – independent environmental consultant, former Director of WWF (Scotland) and board member of the Deer Commission for Scotland and Forestry Commission Scotland;
  • Paul McAleavey, Head of EU Coordination at the European Environment Agency;

Students from the Edinburgh University Carbon Management Masters Programme will also attend the event to present the views of students from countries including Tanzania, India, Nepal and Indonesia.

Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change Committee Convener Patrick Harvie said: “Climate change is the biggest challenge of modern times, and without radical action future generations will inherit a world far more vulnerable to extreme weather events and to shortages of food, and a world which will have to support increasing numbers of environmental refugees.

"The Scotland and Climate Change – Getting it Right event looks at the global perspectives of climate change – the difficulties facing countries across the world and the steps being taken to meet those challenges.

"Importantly, it also takes this global perspective and assesses it against the situation in Scotland, looking at whether the proposals contained in the Climate Change (Scotland) Bill are strong enough to ensure Scotland makes a sufficient contribution to global efforts.

"The Committee is currently conducting robust scrutiny of this legislation ahead of a report into the Government’s proposals.

"Our aim is to see Parliament presented with the best possible final Bill, a framework that enables Scotland to make the significant reductions in carbon emissions required in the most appropriate and accountable way. Crucially, the views and opinions expressed at the conference will inform and support this scrutiny process.”

Background Information

Scotland and Climate Change – Getting it Right takes place in the Scottish Parliament’s main chamber on Friday 27 March between 10am and 4pm.

Scotland and Climate Change – Getting it Right takes place in the Scottish Parliament’s main chamber on Friday 27 March between 10am and 4pm.  


The event will be chaired by Presiding Officer Alex Fergusson MSP and facilitated by journalist and broadcaster Louise Batchelor.

Members of the media are welcome to attend by prior arrangement.

  • Read further information about the event including a detailed programme and biographical details of the key participants.
  • Read further further information about the scrutiny of the Climate Change (Scotland) Bill.
  • The Scottish Government published the Climate Change (Scotland) Bill in December 2008.
  • A briefing document on the Bill has been produced by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre.
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