A day less ordinary – a young leader’s view of COP22

It was anything but an ordinary Monday for one SSE team member as she swapped her day job in Glasgow for the cutting edge of the decarbonisation debate at the United Nations Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP22) in Marrakech.

Last night, Kerry-Anne McKay addressed delegates in the ‘Leading for the Future: Mainstreaming Climate Action’ session at the prestigious UN conference. The change manager, who works in SSE’s Transmission team, was invited to speak due to her participation with Scotland’s 2050 Climate Group, where she recently graduated from the organisation’s inaugural Young Leaders Development Programme.  

In her speech, Kerry-Anne talked about her personal journey since joining the YLDP group, where she has transformed from someone who was “passively concerned” about the impacts of global warming to an engaged activist in the climate change movement.

Kerry-Anne listed three climate issues that stood out to her as key challenges: the volume of waste generated in the modern world; the effect of heat loss and wasted energy; and the benefits of greater pedestrian areas in cities, quipping she was embarrassed to learn her office in Glasgow was based on Scotland’s second most polluted street.

Kerry-Anne closed the speech by making a personal commitment to use her knowledge, tools and confidence gained as part of the young leaders programme to encourage others to get involved in the work to address climate change.

Still on a high after addressing the conference, Kerry-Anne described her experience:

“This time last year, I could never have imagined I would be sharing my climate and sustainability views with the United Nations. It was a surreal but great experience.

“The 2050 Climate Group deserve recognition for the massive contribution they're making to climate action in Scotland and I felt really proud to represent both them and SSE at the conference last night.”

Colin Nicol, Managing Director for Networks, congratulated Kerry-Anne on her achievement:

“SSE encourages all of its potential leaders to read the energy contest, which includes understanding the macro environment in which companies like ours operate. In that frame, there are few bigger contests than the threat of climate change and how our industry and society seeks to combat it.

“Kerry-Anne should be very proud to represent her generation in speaking at this prestigious event on such an important issue.”

The 2050 Climate Group, Scotland’s youth climate group, is a collection of young professionals across Scotland who all share a commitment to climate change mitigation and adaptation and accelerating Scotland’s transition to a low carbon economy.