With only 100 days until COP26 in Glasgow 13 ambassadors have been chosen to encourage the UK to follow in their green footsteps and help the country tackle climate change.

Now the search for another 13 everyday climate leaders who can tell their stories at the major climate summit in November will begin. The UK Government is looking for people to join the One Step Greener initiative on social media and share how they are doing their bit for the environment, intending that the cumulative impact of many stories being told will help the UK become a more sustainable and greener country.  

Sara Thomson, Founder of The Leith Collective is one of the first ambassadors. Sara founded The Leith Collective in 2019, providing a platform for 130 artists brought together by a common aim to repurpose items that may otherwise have been destined for landfill. The Leith Collective became the UK’s first single-use plastic free shop of its kind and was later crowned runner up in the Surfers Against Sewage Plastic Free Awards. In July 2021, Sara took her message of sustainability west-side, opening The Clydeside Collective in Glasgow’s St Enoch Centre. 

Sara Thomson one of the first 13 ambassadors

People can also nominate anyone in their community who is making a difference in the fight against climate change. They will have the chance to become ‘One Step Greener’ Ambassadors and showcase their stories at COP26 this November – which aims to be the most inclusive COP ever. Those nominated could be family members, friends, colleagues, community leaders or entrepreneurs: anyone who is taking action to tackle climate change and inspiring others.

The “One Step Greener” Ambassadors will come from all walks of life in their pursuit of a greener future, as they come together with government, businesses, community groups, schools and citizens in taking steps to tackle climate change.

It is hoped that this climate conference will be the biggest yet.

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said: “Scotland is leading the way when it comes to green energy and is a net exporter of renewables. Therefore, it is entirely appropriate that the UK is hosting COP26 in Glasgow and that Scotland is represented in the first 13 One Step Greener ambassadors announced today.

 “Toby McCartney, of Lockerbie-based MacRebur, and Sara Thomson, founder of The Leith Collective, Edinburgh, have shown ingenuity and determination to reduce plastic waste and are an inspiration to us all. I know there are many more people across the country going above and beyond for the climate and I hope to see more Scots chosen as One Step Greener ambassadors when the final 13 are announced later this year.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “The UK has made huge strides towards a greener future, with new records in renewable energy and new targets for slashing emissions. But there are also thousands of people across the country doing their bit too, from embarking on green careers and building sustainable businesses to reducing their use of plastic and taking part in conservation projects.

“We can all do our bit to help tackle climate change. That’s why we’re challenging everyone to go one step greener in the next 100 days and win the chance to become an ambassador ahead of COP26 in Glasgow this November.”

COP26 President-Designate Alok Sharma said: “In my many meetings with ministers and governments around the world we discuss the big changes which urgently need to be made to tackle climate change. Setting ambitious emissions reductions targets, supporting developing nations, and protecting nature are all vital if we are to keep temperatures from rising above 1.5C.

“But there is a role in tackling climate change for everyone, and it is heartening to see all parts of society embracing their responsibility to safeguard our precious planet, no matter how big or small a step.”

The full list of 13 ambassadors are Dame Jackie Daniel (NHS), Alice Powell (Envision Virgin Racing), Hugo Chambers (Sainsbury’s), Jasmine Allen (SSE), Toby McCartney (MacRebur), Sara Thomson (Leith Collection), James Lloyd-Jones (Jones Food Company), Emer Rafferty (youth environmentalist), Ade Adepitan (Paralympic medalist and TV presenter) , Max La Manna (low-waste chef), Rob Thompson (Odyssey Innovation), Ash Dykes (adventurer and extreme athlete) and Buffy Buroughs (Green Gathering Festival).

Another Scot who is one of the first ambassadors is Toby McCartney CEO of Lockerbie based MacRebur. A successful entrepreneur and environmentalist, Toby McCartney is passionate about ‘disrupting for good’. He has made it his mission to help resolve the plastic epidemic. Processing waste plastics destined for landfill or incineration and adding them into asphalt for road construction, MacRebur helps to solve two world problems: the waste plastic epidemic, and the quality of road surfaces. Toby makes a conscious effort to make a difference in all aspects of life – from wearing trainers made from waste plastics taken from the ocean, to founding multiple charities in the UK and abroad.   

Toby McCartney CEO of MacRebur

Nominations will close on 1 October 2021. Visit the Together for our Planet website and download the One Step Greener ambassador nomination form. You will be asked to enter the following details before submitting your form:

–        Contact details

–        The name of your chosen nominee

–        Up to 100 words on why you are entering your chosen nominee

–        A photo of your nominee

–        Consent from nominee or parent / guardian