Countdown to 2020

Creating impact – 2009-2015

Scottish business leaders conceived Scotland’s 2020 Climate Group in 2009, in response to discussions leading up to the Scottish Parliament’s vote on its Climate Change Bill. The bill included targets to reduce carbon emissions in Scotland by 42% by 2020 compared with 1990 levels and 80% by 2050.

From the outset, the Group had two key goals:

  1. To help to ensure that all sectors of Scotland’s economy and civic society contribute fully to achieving Scotland’s carbon reduction targets;
  2. and to be a ‘critical friend’ to the Scottish Government to ensure that the public and private sector support each other in their work towards a low carbon Scotland.

The creation of the 2020 Climate Group supported three main activities: Networking among individuals and organisations; Influencing activities by individuals and organisations; and Acting to develop, support and implement formal carbon reduction “projects”.

By 2015, the Group had nearly 150 members from around 100 different organisations and a distinct programme of activities and projects. An impact review identified 28 key initiatives which included a notable 2020 Group influence.

Impact assessment – the power of the network

Based on members’ feedback, the foremost attribute benefit of the 2020 Group was the very strong network it created. Members noted that it brought businesses, the Government and the public sector together in a way that previous groups had not. The Group provided an umbrella under which people from different backgrounds and sectors could convene and take action with credibility on climate change. The network had strong influencing power and associated legacy benefits.

The impact report identifies specific benefits derived by project activities supported by the Group. Another impact area cited by members was the Group’s ability to influence wider civil society as well as the business community. The Group supported and produced influential events, ran seminars and knowledge shares on different topics and issues.

A strong foundation

Scotland’s 2020 Climate Group is an ambitious initiative supporting Scotland to reach its carbon reduction targets. The Group made significant progress over the first 6 years, both through network engagement and in supporting the delivery of projects, and this continues to make a notable contribution to Scotland’s transition to a low carbon economy. It is this first curve that is the foundation from which the Group’s current activities stem and which set the direction of travel for a business community that is actively and meaningfully engaged in climate change and the transition to low carbon in Scotland and internationally.

To read the full report please download a pdf version here: A Report on the Impact of the Group’s First Curve