January 21, 2022

Final Weekend of Scotland’s Climate Assembly to Steer Country’s Climate Policy Future

Author
Ruth Harvey and Josh Littlejohn, Conveners

Scotland’s Climate Assembly members are getting ready to come back together for an eighth and final weekend, ten months after they last met to determine how Scotland should change to tackle the climate emergency in an effective and fair way.

In some ways, much has changed in that time. The UN’s International Panel on Climate Change announced in August that we had reached “code-red” for humanity. World leaders came to Scotland for Cop26 in November to negotiate the Glasgow Climate Pact. In December, the Scottish Government published its official response to Assembly members’ recommendations.

What has not changed, however, is the pressing need for all of us in Scotland - government, businesses, each individual - to move much further, and more quickly, in enacting radical solutions to the climate crisis. The Assembly’s first meeting in November 2020 marked a new approach to climate politics in Scotland, one which empowers citizens from across the country to have their say.

Weekend 8

Members will reconvene online for Weekend 8 from February 4-6. They will take the innovative step of making an informed assessment of the extent to which the Scottish Government’s response matches the ambition behind their 16 goals and 81 recommendations.

When the Assembly published its findings in June 2021, Assembly member Mark told us, “it was a great thing for a member of the public like myself to have a say in the political side of it as well. It’s ok us going and saying it to them but it’s whether they listen that matters.”

We agree with Mark. Scotland’s Climate Assembly’s recommendations offer a programme of cutting edge policies that come from Scotland’s people, are centred around fairness, and are on a scale and ambition demanded by the climate crisis. We believe it is important for members to have an opportunity to shape the legacy of their hard work so that it has the greatest impact not just on this government response, but on Scotland’s path to net zero for years to come.

An Innovative Process

When members come back together in February they will be at the forefront of democratising climate action. Weekend 8, the final Assembly gathering, is an important step to bring added accountability and transparency to the assembly process.

Weekend 8 is a landmark contribution of Scotland’s Climate Assembly to citizen involvement in climate solutions. As in previous weekends, members will be supported by members of the Children’s Parliament whose 42 calls to action reinforced the Assembly’s own report published last June, leading the way in children’s involvement in decision-making.

Members first expressed their interest back in March 2021 to reconvene for a final weekend, and their resolve to devote time to the process has only strengthened since the government response. SCA member Ellie told us what Weekend 8 means to her:

“I signed up for Weekend 8 because I think it will be a good chance to assess with other assembly members the extent to which our recommendations were taken on board. With the help of the expert evidence group, my hope is that Weekend 8 will be an opportunity for assembly members to come together and challenge the government over their response.”

The Assembly’s ambitious recommendations highlight an appetite among citizens in Scotland for big changes aimed at tackling the climate crisis. These recommendations are both realistic and achievable so long as they are matched by political will. At Weekend 8, members of Scotland’s Climate Assembly will continue leading the way in shaping the kind of country we’re making together, and the place where our children and grandchildren will grow up.

Join us as an observer

Scotland’s Climate Assembly would like to invite all interested parties to attend a special observer session at 5pm on Sunday 6 February. The observer programme brings increased visibility to the Assembly process, and will be an opportunity for observers to reflect on the work of Scotland's Climate Assembly and look towards its future impact.

Follow this link to sign-up for the session.