Dr Dan Barlow is joining the ClimateXChange secretariat team as new Programme Manager. He has spent the last five years as a Senior Researcher on climate change and resource use issues for the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe).

Dan has held a number of policy, research and management roles in the environmental NGO sector, including seven years as Head of Policy for WWF Scotland and a period as Acting Director. He has a BSc in Environmental Science from the University of Plymouth and PhD in soil erosion and land use change from the University of Edinburgh.

Dan joins CXC as the Climate Change Plan has barely hit desks and with discussion on-going about a new Climate Change Bill. The Scottish Government is also working on the second Scottish Climate Change Adaptation Programme, due in 2019.

Here are his initial thoughts on the challenges ahead for CXC:

While Scotland has made good progress in cutting emissions and preparing for the impacts of climate change, the next phase will require a wider transformation across society.  For that to happen we need new approaches, broader buy-in, leadership across society and some significant policy decisions about the best routes to decarbonising key sectors.

Scotland has the political commitment, technical and practical expertise in several important areas, and high levels of public support and community engagement. This provides huge scope to maintain Scotland’s leadership across this agenda. At the same time we mustn’t forget that developing the approaches for transformation also offers an opportunity to realise a wider range of benefits and solutions, beyond cutting emissions and adapting to the impacts we are already seeing from a changing climate.

ClimateXChange is at the heart of helping to identify, clearly define and prioritise what research and analysis can best support the process of developing climate policy. It is key to the Centre’s success that this can be delivered in time to inform key decisions.

In my work in SPICe, supporting climate change scrutiny in the Scottish Parliament, I frequently drew on CXC reports, and I’ve been impressed by the volume and quality of information and the expertise in the CXC network.

Coming into the organisations I wonder if there is scope for this huge bank of evidence and analysis to be communicated and promoted more widely. How can the  wider climate change community in Scotland benefit from the research and analysis done by CXC researchers?  Equally, can CXC work reach into areas where low carbon approaches are less developed, linking further with European and global expertise?

Contact Dan on Dan.Barlow@ed.ac.uk

Read more about the CXC team