Climate Change

Climate Change, Sustainability & Natural Capital

At Harper Macleod, we put Climate Change at the heart of our practice. In 2019, Scotland declared a global emergency and set some of the world's toughest climate change legislation, with a legal requirement to meet net zero carbon emissions by 2045.

With these targets, Scotland forged ahead of the rest of the UK, as well as other parts of the world such as Europe, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea who have 2050 target.

In 2021, the eyes of the world are on the country as COP26, the UN Climate Change summit, takes place in Glasgow in November. COP26 will proceed in an entirely new political context and is shaping up to be one of the most critical meetings in the effort to limit global warming.

In addition to be essential for the very future of the planet, tackling these issues is also a catalyst for a green economic transition, with new investment, innovation, sustainable growth.

Our specialists throughout the firm advise organisations and businesses throughout Scotland and beyond on issues which affect and are affected by the need to make significant changes to the way we all do things.

A 'just transition'

The UK government is also likely to target a green recovery to the public health and economic crisis created by the pandemic, but one based on a just transition to ensure that the sectors of the public who have suffered most from Covid-19 are not left behind by the measures required to achieve the recovery. Progress towards a net zero economy will instead attempt to tackle inequality and promote regional cohesion – creating a fairer, greener society for all.

In practice, this will mean increased action on more environmentally friendly forms of heating, increased connectivity and a revolution in transportation, including public transport and electric vehicles.

It also means a more intense transition from fossil-fuel to green energy such as offshore wind – including the jobs associated with traditional offshore energy and the new skills required for renewable energy generation.

Natural Capital

Scotland's Natural Capital, our natural assets and the services and value that come from them, is of huge benefit to the country. How we nurture, protect, manage and make use of our natural ecosystem is fundamental to the country having a healthy and sustainable economy.   

It also includes nature-based solutions to climate change – forestry planting, peatland restoration, changes in farming practices. Importance for rural economy – and the potential for jobs and investment in areas often under-funded.

A lot of the work we do at HM involves helping in the development of communities and the rural economy, and making the most of our Natural Capital.

Climate Change throughout Harper Macleod


Virtual Scottish Highlands Renewable Energy Conference 2021

Harper Macleod's 12th annual Scottish Highlands Renewable Energy Conference (SHREC) took place on 25 February 2021. The virtual event focused on climate change and how the renewable energy industry can play it's part in the transition to a greener economy. For those who couldn't attend, we will soon be making the sessions from the day available to watch online.

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Countdown to COP26 joint webinars

Harper Macleod and our friends at Osborne Clarke have hosted a series of 'Countdown to COP26' webinars, with David Bone, Harper Macleod's head of Energy & Natural Resources playing a leading role. You can find out more via the Osborne Clarke website.

Learn more