March 19, 2021

Party leaders welcome Climate Assembly's work ahead of final meeting


Scotland’s Climate Assembly meets for the final time this weekend. The Assembly will close with messages of thanks from all the leaders of parties represented at Holyrood, who will address the Assembly by video.

The Assembly will publish an interim report this coming Wednesday, setting out 16 goals agreed by an overwhelming consensus of members. These goals cover a broad range of issues including domestic heating, emissions, land use, taxation and the economy. The full report with detailed recommendations will be published in May following the election of a new Scottish Parliament.

The Climate Assembly is the second citizens’ assembly to be held in Scotland and the first tasked with addressing the issue of climate change. It is a “mini-Scotland” with over 100 members broadly representative of the country in terms of age, gender, household income, ethnicity, geography, rurality, disability, and attitude towards climate change. The Assembly operates independently of government. It is one of the first such bodies anywhere in the world to complete its work entirely online.

This is the seventh weekend meeting and members have deliberated on evidence from over 100 expert speakers. The remit of the Assembly tasks members with responding to the question: ‘How should Scotland change to tackle the climate emergency in an effective and fair way?’

The Assembly’s recommendations carry weight - they will be laid in the Scottish Parliament and Government Ministers must publish a statement outlining how they will respond within six months – just as momentum is building for COP26 (the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties due to be held in Glasgow on 1st-12th November 2021).

Co-convener Ruth Harvey said: “I am full of admiration for the contribution members of the Assembly are making to Scotland through their hard work and determination in grappling with so much complex, technical evidence. This weekend I hope we can celebrate their remarkable achievement. For the first time, ordinary folk are setting out a concrete program so that Scotland can take the lead in tackling the climate emergency.

Richard, a member from Aberdeenshire, said, “I’m looking forward to the final weekend of the Assembly, in the hope that together we might really contribute to meaningful change.”