SCOTLAND kicked off its COP 28 activity yesterday with a St Andrew’s Day Reception following the first day of the conference. The First Minister, Humza Yousaf, joined 21 Scottish businesses and organisations in the food and drink sector at the VIP business event, who showcased their products, with support from Scottish Development International (SDI), and set the stage for the country’s participation at COP 28.
The St Andrew’s Day Reception kickstarts the activities for Scotland at the conference of parties, serving as a catalyst for strengthening collaborations and knowledge sharing. The event provided the 21 Scottish businesses, who are either already operating in the UAE or looking to break into the market, a platform to engage with senior decision makers, establish connections, and explore partnerships.
The event served as a microcosm of the country’s broader objectives for COP 28 – to showcase its existing business activity in the UAE; increase business-to-business engagement that supports trade and investment opportunities; and demonstrate its innovation strengths in key net zero sectors.
First Minister Humza Yousaf said: “The gathering of the global community at COP28 is crucially important in the fight against climate change. Only by working together can we meet the need and urgency of the task that lies ahead.
“Scotland has demonstrated that we can lead the way on taking tangible steps, but collective action is needed to tackle the climate emergency and address the devastating effects of climate change. We simply do not have time to work alone when it comes to our just transition to net zero.
“During the next two weeks, we look forward to sharing and learning about others’ progress towards net zero, showcasing our strides in sustainability and engaging in meaningful dialogue on climate action, in particular on ensuring funding for loss and damage.
“COP28 also allows the Scottish Government to advance international relations and build partnerships. Our existing business and alumni relationships in the UAE are an important part of the Scottish Connections diaspora community, and Scottish companies that are at the leading edge of net zero technologies will be attending to enhance Scotland’s global reputation. It is also an opportunity to attract investment in strategic net zero sectors in Scotland, including renewable energy.”
A notable highlight of the St Andrew’s Day Reception was the introduction of Scotch lamb to the market for the first time. Chef Adam Tracy, Culinary Director of Radisson, presented the groundbreaking initiative during the event, alongside Quality Meat Scotland and Woodhead, showcasing Scotland’s commitment to diverse and sustainable offerings in the culinary industry.
The diverse range of food and drink companies showcased at the event included a range of businesses such as: Woodhead, the British meat specialists introducing Scotch lamb to the UAE for the first time; Nairns, famous for their delicious super seeded oatcakes; Mackies, renowned for their melt on the palate ice cream; Seafood Scotland Association, the national trade and marketing body for Scottish seafood; and Quality Meat Scotland, the public body responsible for helping the Scottish red meat sector improve its efficiency and sustainability, and facilitating the introduction of Scotch lamb to the market.
Reuben Aitken, Scottish Enterprise Managing Director of International Operations, said, “Our aim for COP 28 is to further Scotland’s trade and investment interests by highlighting Scotland’s innovation strengths in key net zero sectors, such as energy transition, climate-tech and hydrogen, to a global audience, and showcase Scotland as an incredible investment opportunity for global businesses to achieve their net zero aspirations.”
COP 28 provides Scotland with a number of opportunities to progress in the transition to Net Zero, including a global stage to showcase its strides in sustainability and engage in dialogue on climate action. Scotland is leading the way in transitioning to a net zero economy in a way that is just and fair, ensuring low carbon and renewable energy sources also become the most affordable options for consumers and businesses.