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Virtual Highland climate change conference to be held in November


By Gregor White

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Highland Council is to hold an online conference to discuss the regional, national and global response to climate change.

Last year Highland Council announced a climate and ecological emergency in recognition of what it said were the serious and accelerating changes to the world caused by climate change.

This year’s Highland Climate Change Conference will feature speakers including MSP Roseanna Cunningham (Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform), Dr Roxane Andersen (Senior Research Fellow at the Environmental Research Institute of UHI), David Whiteford (Chairman of North Highland Initiative), Lord Thurso (Chairman of Visit Scotland), Graham Neville (Area Manager, Northern Isles and North Highland of NatureScot) and Dr Marco Springmann (Senior Researcher, Oxford University).

The conference and associated workshops will all take place online and on the same day and will all be free to attend.

Chairwoman of the council's climate change working group, Councillor Trish Robertson, said: "We are proud to be taking part in another Climate Change Conference in November and would encourage anyone to sign up to the workshops or simply join the Microsoft Teams based conference on the day and listen in.

“The conference will focus on four vitally important topics, including personal responsibility and the actions we can each take in Highland to help have a positive impact on the climate emergency.”

She added: “We hope the conference will not only be interesting and engaging, but also highlight how taking action against climate change can also be rewarding and fun.”

Conference sections:

Biodiversity and Habitat

This section will take a closer look at the impact that climate change and human activity has had on biodiversity and habitats in Highland. Attendees will hear from peatland, agriculture, food systems, biodiversity and wildlife experts.

The Bigger Picture

This section will put actions in Highland within a broader context of national and international targets and policy. Attendees will hear about the council’s work, Bristol City’s ‘One City Ecological Emergency Strategy’, climate adaptation, the UN sustainable development goals and how behavioural change can fight climate change.

Personal Responsibility

This section will examine what we as individuals can do to reduce our impact on the environment. Attendees will hear from Friends of the Earth, Keep Scotland Beautiful, Zero Waste Scotland, Creative Carbon and record-breaking ultra-marathon runner Donnie Campbell.

The Green Recovery

The economic turmoil brought by Covid-19 offers an opportunity of a green recovery to a more sustainable way of living and working. Attendees will hear about sustainable transport, renewable energy, green tourism, forestry and the role of small businesses.

Workshops on the four key themes of the conference will begin immediately after the main event.

Sign up details for the conference will be available soon.

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