A LEADING business figure has been appointed to head an organisation which aims to drive the economy and civic society toward achieving Scotland's ambitious targets on climate change.


Lady Susan Rice, a chartered banker and is chair of Scottish Water, is to take over as chair of the 2020 Climate Group. She succeeds former SSE chief executive Ian Marchant.

The country aims to achieve a 42 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions within five years, and Lady Rice said she was delighted to take up the 'challenging role.'

She added: "No-one said change is easy and I firmly believe that by working collaboratively and smartly, we can be innovative in our approach and achieve the impact we need.

"We will continue to be a critical friend to the Scottish Government to ensure that the public and private sector support each other in their work towards a low carbon Scotland."

Lady Rice, a former chair of Lloyds TSB in Scotland who has been vice-chair of the group since it formed in 2009, is looking ahead to United Nations convention on climate change, to be held in Paris at the end of the year.

She said the gathering will "act as a prompt for a new and different approach," adding: "The next five years require attention, planning and behaviour change. Scotland's world leading targets will certainly bring challenges, but challenges also bring opportunity."

Elizabeth Dirth (pictured above, right), vice chair of the 2050 Climate Change Group,  gave a keynote address to delegates at the climate conference held at Stirling University at which the appointment was announced.