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Climate and Sustainability

'Scotland has everything it takes to show international leadership by charting a concrete path to carbon neutrality by 2045. With the 26th Conference of the Parties coming to the UK in 2021, it is time for Scotland to lay out this path.'

Christiana Figueres, Former Executive Secretary, UN Climate Convention

Take a look below at all of the things that Edinburgh Science, and our partners, are doing to help combat the climate crisis including our exciting Climate Co-Lab Meetings (formerly Climate Opportunity Ideas Factory).

Plus, we've provided some tips to help you be a little bit greener at the Festival, on the go and at home.

Edinburgh Science is running a series of round table meetings for senior Scottish industry leaders to discuss ideas for action that will enable Scottish enterprises to respond to the climate emergency. The purpose of meetings is to generate new ideas and build new networks that can lead to action on the reduction of carbon emissions and greater environmental sustainability.

This began in April 2019 when Edinburgh Science Festival awarded the Edinburgh Medal to acclaimed diplomat Christiana Figueres, the Costa Rican Diplomat who was instrumental in bringing about the Paris Climate Agreement. We organised a round table on that day, with leaders of business, public sector, third sector and higher education present. They were challenged by Christiana to collaborate, to act, to not wait for anyone to give them permission and to use the opportunity that presented itself for positive change.

Christiana returned to Edinburgh two months later and asked to meet again for an update. Baillie Gifford hosted a larger group of senior leaders who presented a number of ideas for discussion in this forum, with Christiana Figueres and Roseanna Cunningham, then Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform. Many of the ideas have been picked up and the attendees have fed back that this group is of immense value to them, due to the diverse invite list and the facilitated discussions.

'The transition to clean energy is a huge task, but the key thing is that it is profoundly positive for us to undertake. I truly believe we can – maybe even before 2050 – with the right investment and the right infrastructure. It is fantastic to see Edinburgh Science being proactive and bringing leaders together from diverse sectors in order to expediate this transition.'   

Chris Stark, Chief Executive of the Climate Change Committee 

Now re-named Climate Co-Labs, these round table meetings encourage, support and facilitate these leaders as they address the challenges and opportunities that the climate revolution will bring. We are excited to continue to host Climate Co-Labs regularly and to work together towards bringing innovative ideas into reality.

What do Participants Say?

At our last Climate Co-Lab, 17 November 2022, the post-event survey showed that 100% of respondents made a new connection. 

The speakers were great, the venue was lovely, there was a great atmosphere in the room and everyone was engaging and willing to chat.

There were a number of actions identitied for participants to take following the meeting, for example: 

Canvas key financiers to come together and develop a financing model which spreads risk for their perspective but still provides financing to the sclaing businesses which can make genuine impact on energy transition.

Climate Co-Lab Meeting Reports


Keeping Momentum After Cop 26: Changing the System, 21 January 2022

Public Engagement: A challenge of planetary Scale, 27 April 2022

Energising the Energy Transition, 10 August 2022

Financing the Energy Transition, 17 November 2022



Local Transport: Bicycle Cities and Road User Charging, 9 February 2021

Marine Environment, 18 February 2021

Land Use: Financing Nature-Based Solutions at a Landscape Scale, 30 March 2021

How can international collaboration drive forward our green economic future? 3 November 2021

Skills for a Just Transition, 5 November 2021


The Green Recovery, 5 November 2020

Heat Decarbonisation, 17 November 2020

Heat Decarbonisation: Hearts and Minds, 16 December 2020



We would like to thank the many organisations involved in supporting this exciting and unique project, particularly our 2022–2023 supporters.

For more information about our climate work, please contact our Director of Development, Hannah Schlesinger at