Ellen MacArthur joins Scottish Environment Council

Dame Ellen MacArthur will join a new group of environmental experts tasked with advising the Scottish Government on environmental issues.

The Council will draw on global best practice to advise Scotland in tackling the ‘climate emergency and ecological decline’, the Scottish Government announced.

Dame Ellen MacArthur (pictured right), who founded to Ellen MacArthur Foundation, will sit alongside scientists and climate and nature professionals, including wildlife filmmaker and presenter Gordon Buchanan MBE.

The council will be co-chaired by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Professor Sir Ian Boyd, former Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government on Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

The group will meet regularly to discuss a range of environmental issues, such as biodiversity, marine resources, waste, and the nature-based aspects of climate change and the Just Transition, before presenting their proposed work areas and future plans in a report at COP26.

The First Minister said: “The scientific report earlier this month from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) signalled a code red for humanity – it makes absolutely clear the severe threat and heightened risk posed by the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss.

“It is crucial that the international community takes this opportunity to significantly raise global climate action and ambition. With COP26 coming to Glasgow, Scotland has a unique opportunity to show leadership on the international stage.

As well as acting as a sounding board for our near term policies, the group will advise us on the long-term policy trajectory for Scotland

“That’s why we committed to appoint, within the first 100 days of this government, environmental experts from around the world, to advise on international best practice to help us tackle this unprecedented challenge. The group will balance experience, a strong international perspective, the youth voice, and topical awareness, at the highest, global level.

“As well as acting as a sounding board for our near term policies, the group will advise us on the long-term policy trajectory for Scotland – taking into account the opportunities that becoming a net-zero society presents: growing our economy, improving our health and wellbeing and protecting Scotland’s iconic natural environment.”


  • Professor Sir Ian L Boyd FRSB FRSE FRS (Co-Chair), University of St Andrews, President-elect of the Royal Society of Biology
  • Professor Ian Bateman OBE, US-NAS, FBA, FRSA, FRSB, Director of Land, Environment, Economics and Policy Institute, University of Exeter Business School
  • Gordon Buchanan MBE, award-winning wildlife camera-man and presenter
  • Revati Campbell, MSYP for Dundee West
  • Professor Gretchen Daily, Bing Professor of Environmental Science, Stanford University, USA Faculty Director – The Natural Capital Project
  • Professor Sandra Diaz, National University of Cordoba, Argentina
  • Susan Davies FRSB, Chief Executive, Scottish Seabird Centre
  • Erin Fowler, University of Glasgow
  • Dame Ellen MacArthur, Founder & Chair of Trustees Ellen MacArthur Foundation
  • Professor Yadvinder Malhi, University of Oxford
  • Dr Ece Özdemiroğlu, founding director of eftec (economics for the environment consultancy)
  • Dr Dilys Roe, Principal Researcher and Team Leader (Biodiversity) and Chair, IUCN Sustainable Use and Livelihoods Specialist Group (SULi), International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)
  • Dame Julia Slingo FRS, Chief Scientist of the UK Met Office (2009 -2016)
  • Professor Pete Smith FRS, FRSE, FNA, FEurASc, FI Soil Sci., FRSB, Professor of Soils & Global Change, University of Aberdeen


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