Scottish Environment Minister welcomes European climate-change conference to Glasgow after denouncing US decision on Paris accord

Roseanna Cunningham, MSP
Roseanna Cunningham, MSP

Up to 1,000 delegates are due to attend the third European Climate Change Adaptation conference which opens in Glasgow tomorrow.

One of the highlights of the conference will be an exhibition of inspirational case studies coming out of Scotland’s pioneering partnership approach to climate change adaptation.

Scotland is taking a strategic approach to climate change adaptation across policy, practice and research. The work is founded on strong legislation and Government policy, alongside a solid commitment from society to work together to prepare for the impacts.

The Climate Ready Scotland showcase at ECCA 2017 presents example case studies on how this partnership is delivering across Scotland’s economy, society and environment.

Research across the natural environment, the built environment, infrastructure and health and well-being is contributing to a well-established adaptation research base in Scotland. The conference being hosted in Glasgow is testament to the close links between Scotland and partners in the United Kingdom, Europe and internationally, both on specific adaptation issues and on monitoring and evaluating adaptation actions.

The bi-annual ECCA was previously held in Copenhagen in 2015 and in Hamburg in 2013.

Roseanna Cunningham, MSP, Scottish Environment Minister, is due to formally open the conference tomorrow.

She said: “Adapting to the effects of climate change is most successful when the public sector, businesses and communities work together. This kind of partnership working is crucial because responses often affect large geographical areas and can cost more than individual organisations can afford to fund.

“The ECCA conference is a valuable opportunity to put the spotlight on Scotland and how the Scottish Government and its partners are working together to respond to both the risks and opportunities of climate change.”

Meanwhile, commenting on the USA’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, Cunningham added:“This news is bitterly disappointing and deeply frustrating but we must not forget nations, states and cities around the world remain resolutely committed to the fight against climate change.

“Scotland itself has committed to work jointly with California, as part of the Under 2 Coalition, which covers over a billion people and a third of the global economy. That work will continue.

“It is also important to remember the important role played by the European Union in global climate negotiations. As we have previously made clear we will continue to work to ensure Scotland continues to benefit from the EU’s powerful voice.

“The need for international co-operation is greater than ever and will be vital if we are to prevent the most serious effects of climate change by limiting average global temperature rises to well below two degrees Celsius.”

Perth-based utility SSE said it is ‘very disappointed’ that President Trump has announced that the United States is withdrawing from the Paris Agreement within the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. 

A spokesman added: “We strongly support ratification by the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland – where our operations and investments are located – of the Paris Agreement.

“We also hope that the governments of the two countries, and those of other countries which have ratified the Agreement, remain united in taking action to cut carbon emissions and tackle climate change”.

Dr. Dahlmann
Dr. Dahlmann

Dr. Frederik Dahlmann, Assistant Professor of Global Energy at Warwick Business School, commented:

“At a time when costs in the renewable energy sector are falling significantly and clean tech employment is reaching record levels, the President’s decision ignores the very significant shifts occurring in the global energy system.

“Combined with other key economies’ desire (notably the EU and China) to accelerate rather than to stop these trends, politically the US will find itself in growing isolation, and face accusations of scientific ignorance and moral irresponsibility.”

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