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End of year message from SSN Chair

14 December 2020

A message from SSN Chair, Kathryn Dapré

This time last year, I was looking forward to 2020 with some optimism. The Scottish public sector had a renewed purpose on climate change (following various declarations of a climate emergency), and Scotland was getting ready to host the world’s biggest climate change event. Colleagues across the sector were reporting that perhaps for the first time, they were getting genuine traction and interest in climate change initiatives.

Like everyone else, on Hogmanay this year I will be raising a glass and booting 2020 firmly into the past. It’s been a horrid year. I have been fortunate that I have not lost a loved one to Covid-19, but I know friends who have, and working in the NHS I’ve seen on a day-to-day basis the impact this pandemic has had on people’s lives.

So why am I as optimistic this year as I was last year?

Because SSN members have continued to raise the bar in tackling climate change. This year we’ve seen more of our member bodies set challenging net-zero targets and now, in the context of Green Recovery, bring more sustainability initiatives to fruition than ever before.

Because Scotland is still getting ready to host the world’s biggest climate change event. COP26 in Glasgow looks to be a superb event that will allow Scotland to showcase its climate change achievements on a global scale.

Because we have a new SSN strategy that will help Scotland’s public sector meet the requirements of Scottish Government’s new Climate Change Plan and ensure that we are world-leading in climate change mitigation.

Because SSN pulled together as a community and delivered under the most challenging conditions we have ever faced.

Most of all, I’m optimistic that at some point in 2021, I’ll be able to host a SSN meeting in person again. Talking to a screen is fine (and it’s done wonders for my carbon footprint), but I miss meeting people.

I wish you and yours all the very best for the festive season. Stay safe, and see you – in person – in 2021.

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