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University of Exeter Professor appointed to Scottish First Minister’s environmental council

Professor Ian Bateman has been named as part of Nicola Sturgeon’s new group to advise Scottish Government on environmental crises.

Published 24th August 2021

Professor Bateman, Professor of Environmental Economics at the University of Exeter Business School, has been appointed to the new environmental council alongside 13 other experts.

“I am delighted and honoured to join this superb initiative headed by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon,” said Professor Ian Bateman. “Scotland has provided world leadership in pioneering decision and policy-making which is environmentally sustainable, economically efficient and socially equitable.

“My particular interest is in the two-way connections between the environment and economic systems so that we can move towards a relationship which supports both. Short term I am hoping to advise on a restructuring of land use, delivering the net zero forests we need to tackle climate change while simultaneously ensuring that essentials such as food production and employment together with other goals such as reversing biodiversity loss are all addressed. We have no choice but to invest in the decision-making techniques needed to deliver these crucial objectives.”

The group will be co-chaired by the First Minister and Professor Sir Ian Boyd, former Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government on Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

They will advise the Scottish Government on international best practice to help tackle the climate emergency and ecological decline. The council will discuss environmental issues, such as biodiversity, marine resources, waste, and the nature-based aspects of climate change.

The proposed work areas and future plans will be published in a report at COP26.

First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon said: “The scientific report earlier this month from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) signalled a code red for humanity – it makes absolutely clear the severe threat and heightened risk posed by the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss. It is crucial that the international community takes this opportunity to significantly raise global climate action and ambition. With COP26 coming to Glasgow, Scotland has a unique opportunity to show leadership on the international stage.

“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.”

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