In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Scotland’s Climate Assembly took place online, making it the first national climate assembly to be held digitally for its entire duration. The Assembly was scheduled to meet for six weekends between November 2020 and March 2021. In Weekend Four, Assembly members requested additional time for learning and deliberations by voting for a seventh weekend. 


Assembly members heard evidence from a broad range of perspectives and discussed the issues in depth with each other in order to answer the question; ‘how should Scotland tackle the climate emergency in a fair and effective way?’.


To watch speaker’s presentations, view plenary recorded sessions and read transcripts click through to each weekend.

1
7 & 8 November

Weekend 1 Agenda

Saturday –

Aim: to give the Assembly members an introduction to climate change.

The first day will include an introduction to climate change and a discussion about the urgency of addressing this global issue. We will also introduce some of the causes and impacts as well as ideas and opportunities for change as we move into the future.


Sunday

Aim: to explore what climate change means for us and barriers to change.

In the second day of our first Assembly weekend, we will introduce the concepts of ‘mitigation’ (how we can reduce our contribution to climate change) and ‘adaptation’ (how we live with climate change).

We will also introduce the context for needing to take climate action including a discussion on what factors we need to consider when tackling climate change.

2
12 & 13 December

Weekend 2 Agenda

This weekend we will be hearing evidence to start learning about:

  • Scotland's climate emissions: where do they come from and how can we reduce them;
  • Adapting to climate change: what are we doing and could we do to reduce the impact of climate change in Scotland

 

Saturday –

Aim: to give the Assembly members an introduction to where Scotland's climate emissions come from and what negative emissions are.

The first day will talk about how Scotland generates and uses energy and where our electricity comes from as well as who has the power to take action to tackle climate change and what is already being done.

In the afternoon session, members will be asked to start thinking more about mitigation (how we reduce emissions) specifically in the key areas of:

  • Work
  • Travel
  • Lifestyle
  • Diet and Land Use


Sunday

Aim: to explore more about what it means to adapt to the impacts of climate change in a fair and effective way.

In the second day of Weekend 2 we will ask members to starting thinking more about adaptation specifically looking at how Scotland is reacting to the impacts of climate change and thinking about what more we can do to adapt to the changing climate and the impacts in Scotland. There will also be discussions about how we can incentivise adaptation measures.

In the afternoon, the Assembly members will consider the overall question, "How should Scotland change to tackle the climate emergency in a fair and effective way?" thinking more about specifically what we mean by 'fair and effective'.

3
9 & 10 January

Weekend 3 Agenda

For Weekends 3 and 4, Assembly Members will be divided into three streams to enable in-depth discussions of specific topics. Over the course of the two weekends, each stream will explore four key challenges. The streams are:

  • Diet and Lifestyle
  • Homes and Communities
  • Work and Travel

Each group will hear presentations from both informants and advocates. Informants will set the context for each challenge and explain the range of views or options that exist on the topic. Advocates will present their personal opinion, or the opinion of the organisation they work for.

 

Saturday AM -

Aim: to consider what we mean by effective change.

To start the weekend, members will convene as a whole Assembly. To help members think about how change can happen and who is involved in bringing about change, the Assembly members will hear four fictional stories exploring possible future scenarios.

  • Techno optimism
  • Climate mobilisation
  • Community collaboration
  • Civic provision and regulation

The stories depict different routes we can take to achieve net zero and illustrate how change happens at different levels and paces.

Saturday PM -

Aim: to explore how we can change our diet, our existing homes and the way we travel to tackle climate change.

In the afternoon session, members will be divided into three groups: diet & land, homes and travel. Each group will consider a key challenge to help guide deliberations.

 

Sunday AM -

Aim: to explore how we can change how we build new homes, how we use land and how we fly to tackle climate change.

Remaining in the same groups from Saturday’s afternoon session (diet & land, homes and travel) members will explore a new key challenge.

Sunday PM -

Aim: to agree the process for developing recommendations and propose priority areas based on the evidence heard so far.

Assembly members will begin to make provisional recommendations in their groups considering what type of action are being suggested and what the levels the recommendations are targeted at. Importantly, members will be reminded to consider what they think is fair and effective.

4
23 & 24 January

Weekend 4 Agenda

For Weekend 4, Assembly Members will remain divided into three streams (diet & lifestyle, homes & communities, work & travel) to enable in-depth discussions of specific topics. Over the course of the weekend, each stream will explore two new key challenges. Groups will hear presentations from both informants and advocates. Informants will set the context for each challenge and explain the range of views or options that exist on the topic. Advocates will present their personal opinion, or the opinion of the organisation they work for.

 

Saturday -

Aim: to explore how we can change our buying habits, our community planning and our working practices to tackle climate change.

Members will be divided into three groups: lifestyle, communities and work. Each group will consider a key challenge to help guide deliberations.

In the afternoon, members will revisit the propositions on fairness they proposed in Weekend 2 and will vote on which they feel are the most important for the Assembly to consider when developing and evaluating potential recommendations.

 

Sunday -

Aim: to explore how we can change how we manage our materials & resources, how we deliver community services and how we can support people to change work to tackle climate change.

Remaining in the same groups, members will explore a new key challenge.

5
20 & 21 February

Weekend 5 Agenda

Weekend 5, Assembly Members will remain divided into three streams (diet & lifestyle, homes & communities, work & travel) to enable in-depth discussions of specific topics. This weekend will be focused on members having time to review the proposed areas for recommendation on the questions they discussed in their facilitated discussions in Weekends 3 & 4.

 

Saturday -

Aim: to begin the prioritisation of recommendations and consider costs and ambitions.

Members will still be divided into the same three groups that they have previously been working in for Weekends 3 & 4: diet & lifestyle, homes & communities, work & travel. The morning will begin with an initial review of the proposed draft recommendations after which members will spend most of the morning session in their facilitated discussion groups.

During the facilitated breakout groups, expert leads will be rotated through each of the discussion groups to answer questions by members so that they can be confident in their recommendations.

In the afternoon, the full Assembly will regroup to hear some information about the costs, financial levers and trade-offs, and scope (ambitions and incentives) of the Assembly presented by Chris Stark as well as have time for a Q&A session with Chris Stark.

 

Sunday -

Aim: considering what the Climate Change Plan update means for recommendations and what areas the Assembly members should be focussing their recommendations on; agreement of recommendations from each group.

Members will once again be divided into the same three groups that they have previously been working in for Weekends 3 & 4: diet & lifestyle, homes & communities, work & travel. They will remain in these three groups for the entire day (morning and afternoon sessions). The morning session will focus on informing members about some initiatives that are already included in the Climate Change Plan update. Members will then discuss what this means for their recommendations in their facilitated breakout groups.

During the facilitated breakout groups, expert leads will again be rotated through each of the discussion groups to answer questions by members so that they can be confident in their recommendations.

In the afternoon, the Assembly members for each group will agree what recommendations from their area (diet & lifestyle, homes & communities, work & travel) they would like to bring back to present to the full Assembly during Weekend 6.

6
6 & 7 March

Weekend 6 Agenda

Weekend 6, Assembly Members will rejoin into the full Assembly after being divided into three streams (diet & lifestyle, homes & communities, work & travel) for the past three weekends.

This weekend will be focused on members from the three different streams sharing and discussing their proposed recommendations which they deliberated on in their facilitated discussion groups throughout Weekends 3, 4 & 5.

7
20 & 21 March

Weekend 7 Agenda

The Assembly will regroup for the final weekend. The focus will be on finalising the overarching statements of ambition, addressing any gaps and developing supporting declarations for each recommendation. 

In between Weekends 6 and 7, Assembly members voted on the goals. After Weekend 7, members will vote on the recommendations, thereby concluding Scotland’s Climate Assembly.