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Festival of Politics 2021
20 to 24 October
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Saturday, October 23, 2021

Scottish Islands on the front line of climate emergency

Time: 2pm to 3pm

 Join the panel to hear from local island communities who are dealing with and adapting to the climate emergency on their doorstep.


Event information

Scotland’s islands are the ‘canary down the mine’ on the climate emergency. Since 2000, the rising sea levels, heavier rainfall and frequent powerful storms have been eroding the dunes and machair land that protects many low-lying communities whose well-being and livelihoods are now being altered.

Join the panel to hear from local island communities dealing and adapting to the climate emergency on their doorstep: from innovative carbon neutral energy and transport schemes, to food sustainability and packaging-free shops, the future lies in the islands.

This event is chaired by Liam McArthur MSP, Deputy Convener of the Rural Affairs, Islands and Natural Environment Committee and Deputy Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament. 


Dr Sandy Kerr

Sandy Kerr is an associate professor and Director of Heriot-Watt's International Centre for Island Technology (ICIT) based in Orkney. Sandy's research interests include community benefits or renewable energy; island sustainability; and marine resource management. Every year ICIT attracts MSc students from around the world, who come to Orkney to finds out about renewable energy and how the islands are making the transition to Net Zero. Together with other colleges next year Sandy will be involved in the launch of the Island Centre for Net Zero.

Camille Dressler

My interest in politics started when I got involved in the Eigg Community buy-out, leading me to become a community councillor and network with other islands in Scotland and Europe, serving as chair for both the Scottish Islands and the European Small Islands Federations. Through the Clean Energy for EU Islands Initiative and the National Island Plan consultation, I gained a real insight in the power of island communities. Today, with the islands all over Europe at the forefront of the Clean Energy transition agenda, I can be part of the action addressing our biggest challenge ever.

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