A group of experts who will advise Nicola Sturgeon on climate change is to be lead by a biology professor from St Andrews University in Fife.
Prof Ian L. Boyd will co-chair the group of scientists and climate experts alongside the First Minister.
Formerly the chief scientific adviser at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Prof Boyd now works as a professor at the University of St Andrews.
The new group has been tasked with advising the Scottish Government on environmental issues.
With an aim to “keep Scotland at the forefront of tackling the climate emergency”, the First Minister’s Environmental Council will focus on Scotland’s “ambitious trajectory” and draw on global best practice.
Expert group will advise Nicola Sturgeon on climate change
Nicola Sturgeon said the climate crisis is “code red for humanity” and that Cop26 is a “unique opportunity to show leadership on the international stage”.
She added: “That’s why we committed to appoint, within the first 100 days of this government, environmental experts from around the world, to advise on international best practice to help us tackle this unprecedented challenge.
“The group will balance experience, a strong international perspective, the youth voice, and topical awareness, at the highest, global level.
“As well as acting as a sounding board for our near term policies, the group will advise us on the long-term policy trajectory for Scotland – taking into account the opportunities that becoming a net-zero society presents: growing our economy, improving our health and wellbeing and protecting Scotland’s iconic natural environment.”
WWF Scotland welcomed the new council, saying Scotland was “well-positioned to be able to play a leading role in tackling the twin climate and nature emergencies”.
Lang Banks, director of the organisation, said: “In most cases we already know what needs to be done to halt climate change and restore nature.
“However, what we need to see is swift and focused action, with the Scottish Government leading the way.
‘Swift’ action needed to tackle climate change
“We hope that this new group can help support Scottish ministers to more rapidly deliver a future where people and nature thrive.”
The group will meet regularly to discuss a range of environmental issues, such as biodiversity, marine resources, waste, and the nature-based aspects of climate change and the Just Transition, before presenting their proposed work areas and future plans in a report at Cop26.