From COVID-19 to COP26: Forging a just and sustainable future 

Glasgow City Council and the University of Glasgow’s Centre for Sustainable Solutions, together with Policy Scotland, are partnering on a series of three Green Recovery Dialogues intended to progress a just and sustainable recovery from COVID-19. 

The Dialogues, which took place in November/December 2020, will enable better-informed partnership working for achieving the City’s and the University’s ambitious Carbon Neutrality (Net Zero) targets of 2030. 

The Dialogues were active discussion events to mobilise the academic and practitioner communities, identifying common issues and potential solutions, paving the way for collective impact on challenges posed by climate change. Participants identified practical steps that can be taken now, or in the near future, offering senior leaders options to consider. 

The three Dialogue themes are salient both in the context of the impact of COVID-19, and of the climate challenges that will be addressed when people from round the world gather in Glasgow for COP26 in November 2021. An ethos of co-creation will be central to discussions, recognising that a sustainable transition and a just transition are synonymous. This is in keeping with the City’s participation in the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance, and with the Scottish Government’s commitment to a Just Transition.  Proposals from the Dialogues will be put forward to a leadership round table early in 2021. 

Watch the welcome video

Welcome to the Green Recovery Dialogues

  • Professor Jaime L. Toney, Director of the Centre for Sustainable Solutions, University of Glasgow
  • Des McNulty, Deputy Director of Policy Scotland, University of Glasgow
  • Gavin Slater, Head of Sustainability, Glasgow City Council

The Dialogues welcomed those who have the expertise to brainstorm solutions for implementing business models, policy measures, and other impactful activities in the thematic areas below. The Round Table will include people who can drive change through leadership and partnership. 

Dialogue 1. Implementing Green Futures – Increasing urban green space and implementing nature-based solutions

Date: Friday 13 November 2020


  • Promoting biodiversity through strategic use of natural assets.
  • Learning from Green COVID-19 measures and extending good practice; transformation plans for active and safe travel that also encourage use and greening of open space.
  • Spaces and places: stories about Glasgow’s spaces centring on history of the Clyde; development of walkways and zoning of waterway land, etc.; geolocational devices / mapping processes.

Dialogue 2. Raising Ambition on Net Zero – providing low carbon energy and housing solutions

Date: Thursday 19 November 2020


  • Transforming existing buildings into more energy-efficient homes and spaces.  
  • Using digital technology to inform energy management decisions and communication. 
  • Harnessing the geothermal energy under the city to deliver green energy and job solutions.

Dialogue 3. Rethinking Consumption – achieving sustainable recovery through green and/or circular economy

Date: Friday 4 December 2020


  • Caring Economy: Transformation to a ‘caring economy’ that is inclusive, localised and just, with wellbeing at its heart.
  • Doing Consumption Differently: Rethinking consumption to advance transformation of current approaches and expand conversations around circular and digital solutions.

Leadership Round Table – Systems Leadership for a Sustainable Recovery

Date: 12 February 2021

Key leaders will reflect on changes needed to implement solutions identified from the Green Recovery Dialogues. 

The discussion will identify areas for intervention and challenge the current leadership to work differently and collectively to progress sustainable solutions. 

More information / contact details

If you have any queries, please contact the event organisers at

Logo of the Centre for Sustainable Solutions with the University of Glasgow name and crest; the logo of Glasgow City Council with the city's coat of arms; and the logo of Policy Scotland with the University of Glasgow name and crest;