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Climate and Environment

Climate change is without doubt an urgent threat of unprecedented magnitude and Edinburgh Science is committed to doing all that it can to bring it to the world’s attention through its activities, festival and learning programmes.

In 2019, we updated our Ethical Sponsorship Policy and announced that we would no longer accept money from fossil fuel companies. Edinburgh Science is determined to show leadership in tackling the world’s climate crisis and highlighting the challenges and opportunities that this revolution will bring.

Below is an explanation of the work we are doing to further educate and inspire our partners, staff and audiences.

Christiana Figueres is the former Executive Secretary for the UN Convention of Climate Change and was the driving force behind the Paris Agreement. She was awarded the Edinburgh Medal at the 2019 Edinburgh Science Festival and as part of her visit to Edinburgh, we convened a meeting with leaders from business, academia and charity sectors along with representatives from the Scottish Government, to discuss ideas and opportunities to help Scotland reach its ambitious climate targets.

We are embarking on a revolution in the way we travel, grow food, play and do business, driven by the urgent need to meet the carbon reduction targets set by the IPCC Paris agreement. We know these targets will require unprecedented and rapid change in all aspects of society, but if we move quickly and imaginatively these changes have every chance of leading us to a better life than the one we have now.

Edinburgh Science believes that Scotland can be in the vanguard of this revolution; we have a strong scientific and technical community and a dynamic business community, and our land and natural resources lend themselves to clean energy and carbon capture. We are honoured that Christiana Figueres is able to bring her perspective and determined optimism and we are grateful to the organisations who have given their time to this group.

'Scotland has already halved greenhouse gas emissions while growing the economy and increasing productivity and employment. Our ambition now is to end our contribution to climate change, definitively, within a generation. The scale of this ambition presents both opportunities and challenges for Scottish businesses and it is important that there are wide-ranging, honest conversations about both. That is why these discussions are so important. It is encouraging to see Edinburgh Science bringing leaders from multiple sectors together to collaborate on being part of the solution.' 

Roseanna Cunningham – Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform