Environment and Climate Change Secretary Roseanna Cunningham MSP has chaired the first meeting of the Sustainable Renewal Advisory Group this week.
The group has been tasked with identifying opportunities to embed sustainability in Scotland’s recovery from COVID-19 and with exploring the new challenges and opportunities we face in achieving a 75% reduction in emissions within a decade.
Ms Cunningham said:
“The COVID-19 pandemic has been an unprecedented global crisis which has fundamentally changed every aspect of our lives and the immediate focus for Government continues, rightly, to be on protecting lives and livelihoods. However, we also recognise that the dual emergencies of climate change and biodiversity loss have not gone away and must form a central part of our recovery from this difficult time.
“In anticipation of a ‘new normal’, we have a chance to re-imagine the Scotland around us, and to begin building a greener, fairer and more equal society and economy. Our starting point has most definitely changed but our ambitions need not and I remain deeply committed to our ambition to end Scotland’s contribution to climate change by 2045.
“The 2019 Climate Change Act enshrines in law our commitment to a just transition to net-zero, one in which wellbeing, fair work and social justice are prioritised and no-one is left behind. These principles must also be central to the economic recovery from COVID-19.”
Kenneth Gibson MSP added:
“This may not seem an immediate priority in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, but now is indeed the time to look at how we structure our recovery and how this will set the direction for the Scottish economy.
“It is vital that Parliament and our wider society are involved in these discussions from the outset.
“This group will provide a balanced set of input from parliamentarians as well as stakeholders from across academia, industry, business, trades union and environmental organisations.”
Membership of the Sustainable Renewal Group:
Roseanna Cunningham MSP, Environment and Climate Change Secretary
Mairi Gougeon MSP, Rural Affairs and Natural Environment Minister
Ben Macpherson MSP, Public Finance Minister
Finlay Carson MSP (Scottish Conservative Party)
Claudia Beamish MSP (Scottish Labour Party)
Mark Ruskell MSP (Scottish Green Party)
Rebecca Bell, Scottish Liberal Democrat Party
Cllr Steven Heddle, Orkney, COSLA Environment and Economy Spokesperson
Dave Reay, Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation
Andy Kerr, Director UK and Ireland at Climate-KIC
Sara Thiam, Chief Executive Officer of the Scottish Council for Development and Industry
Fabrice Leveque, Interim Head of Policy at WWF
Tom Shields, Chief Executive Officer of Spring Rise and Just Transition Commission
Susan Love, Policy Manager at Federation of Small Businesses
Keith MacLean, Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee for the Research Councils' Energy Programme.
Richard Hardy, Prospect Union and Just Transition Commission
Dr. Katherine Trebeck, Wellbeing Economy Alliance
Andrew Thin, Chair of the Scottish Land Commission
Dr Tony Craig, James Hutton Institute
Jonny Hughes, Chief Executive Officer of the UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre
Dr Kate Pangbourne, Leeds Institute of Transport