Launch initiatives that inspire urgent climate action for COP26.

The Scotia Group is a global network of prominent internationalists and leaders in law, politics, academia and business.

Convened following a meeting of the Quraysh Council of Overseers on 21 January 2021. During a time when world attention is focused on the Covid-19 pandemic, and facilitated by the new normalcy of remote collaboration, this group of global citizens came together in an effort to productively apply their expertise and harness new opportunities presented in these circumstances. Addressing the global climate crisis was agreed upon as the Group’s focus, and the meeting concluded by stressing the need for an initiative that underscores the importance of the rule of law as a driver for real and impactful climate action.

In light of the overwhelming scientific evidence that there is now less than a decade to collectively facilitate a historic, global energy transition, the Group aims to lay some foundations and seek out specific, bold and achievable policies, that link the global rule of law to climate action. It is hoped these efforts will help to encourage global solidarity and unearth solutions which will avert the worst consequences of the climate crisis, a historic and unprecedented concern shared by all countries and communities.

The Group believes that the 26th United Nations Conference for Climate Change (COP26) to be hosted in Glasgow in November marks ‘T minus 9’ years. The immediate mission of the Group during the virtual global pandemic environment, is to bring a diverse group of experts together for discussions in a unique ‘Climate Majlis’ format. It is hoped that these virtual sessions will contribute to the direction and success of COP26 Glasgow and its lasting legacy. The initiative aims to be a part of the solution rather than simply another voice in the discussion.

To that end, our mission statement is, “To launch initiatives that inspire urgent climate action for COP26 by assembling a collective of experts to “Sherpa” the COP26 process to make it meaningful, successful and impact driven.”.

1. Support for Glasgow COP26.

In the lead-up to Glasgow COP26, the Group will convene a series of Climate Majlis Dialogue sessions where a diverse range of global experts will explore a variety of subjects relating to Climate Action and the Rule of Law. The group has partnered with Friends to convene each of these Majlis dialogues, including Alan Turing Institute, Transatlantic Network, MIT, Oxford, Harvard, St. Andrews, and the International Bar Association.

The aim of these discussions is to champion key areas relating to the rule of law, which policy experts believe could be harnessed to positively ‘move the dial’ and help avoid a 1.5°C rise in global temperatures by 2030. It also aims to look at the process challenges and institutional complexities of climate action to help catalyse action.

2. Institutional foundations for a post-Paris climate agenda.

Following the conclusion of the Climate Majlis Dialogues, a communique will be drafted by the Scotia Group, which will incrementally amass and incorporate the most relevant and dynamic suggestions from each session. It is hoped that the communique will include bold and transformative recommendations which can be put into effect after the Glasgow Summit concludes. At this point, the COP process will be handed over to Africa for COP27 and the Group aims to contribute a ‘tool kit’ framework which can be applied in more detail as discussions turn to the topic of vulnerable communities. A particular focus for the Group is considering the practical ways that the law can be used as a tool for climate protection. A priority for the Group is to underline how the UK, both as a leading democracy and as President of COP26, can serve as role model of using the rule of law to advance global environmental interests.

3. Communities, Communication and Public Engagement.

In April, the Group will oversee the launch of the Stanley Hoffmann-Louise Richardson Prize for International Affairs and Civil Society, of £25,000, which will seek innovative policy proposals from those under the age of 35 on ways that they would help to solve the global climate crisis. The Group will devise and implement a concerted public communications strategy, leveraging the Dialogues and the Policy Prize to generate interest and attention from international media. Scotia Group members will be positioned for conversations, feature articles and interviews in major publications and television networks.

Visit the Scotia Group website.