Looking back at COP-26
Setting the scene
Prior to our Sustainability Committee's formation in early 2023, the Law Society set up a working group in line with COP26 which was held in Glasgow in 2021.
The COP26 and Climate Change Working Group included volunteers from across existing Law Society committees with varied policy interests including environment, energy, finance, planning, marine, employment and equalities, technology, and criminal law. The working group provided initial policy direction for the Society on climate change and raised the profile of climate change within the legal profession.
This page looks back at the very beginning of our work on climate change and COP26, highlighting what it meant for Scotland's legal profession at the time.
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Meet the working group
This video looks at why it was important to set up a working group to specifically look at the impact of the COP26 conference, including some of the practical issues arising from such a large scale conference, and how climate change issues will affect the profession in the short and longer term.
"The outcomes of COP26 will impact every part of the Scottish economy because climate change and decarbonisation affects everyone. Lawyers have an opportunity to engage with policy to ensure fairness, transparency and good governance.”
- Anonymous response, COP26 Survey
One of the larger pieces of work undertaken by our COP26 Working Group was a survey of the profession completed in advance of the conference. This allowed us to understand the profession's views of climate change and what we could do to help in response.
What happened during COP26?
Get updated on some of the key issues discussed during COP26:
Following our conference on Policing operations and COP26, our Policy Executive Gillian Mawdsley blogs about some of the issues to consider and highlights some cases arising from individuals making a protest.
Alasdair Cameron is a recent graduate from Edinburgh University's Global Environmental and Climate Change Legal Masters Course and now works at the Law Society of England & Wales as their first Climate Change Resource Adviser within their Policy Team. In his blog, Alasdair discusses his academic trajectory as a recent law graduate entering the field of climate change policy.
Angela Daly, a member of the Society's Technology Law and Practice Committee and the COP26 Climate Change Working Group, writes with her research team about the role of digitalisation in ensuring the safety and sustainability of renewable energy systems.
In the run up to the Conference of the Parties 26 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP26), the Society's Working Group on COP26 & Climate Change organised a roundtable event to consider the topic of COP26, climate change and human rights. Alison McNab and Gillian Mawdsley provide a round up from the event.
Abbe Brown, Professor in Intellectual Property Law at the University of Aberdeen, is a member of our COP26 and Climate Change Working Group and Technology Committee. In her blog, Abbe writes about her experience as a delegate at COP26 in Glasgow.
Gillian Mawdsley, solicitor and former Policy Executive and co-secretary of the Society's COP26 and Climate Change Working Group, writes about her experience of attending COP26 in Glasgow.