COP26 Conference - Scotland’s role in raising global ambition Speakers

  • Lorna Bennet

    Lorna Bennet

    Project Engineer, ORE Catapult

    Lorna joined the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult in September 2016 in the Operational Performance Directorate. She is involved in both research and design projects, with a background of mechanical design and project management. Lorna works on a wide variety of exciting projects in wind and tidal power, engaging with SMEs, organisations and academia to address industry challenges through technology innovation and research; also working with companies to diversify and transfer their technology offering to the wind, wave and tidal industries.

    For over 3 years she has been responsible for coordinating information, access, demonstration and validation testing in and around ORE Catapult’s Levenmouth Demonstration Turbine in Fife and has supported over 140 technology developments, demonstrations and research projects. With a broad range of skills and a depth of experience in marine renewable energy development, she is now leading the delivery of projects under the Energy Transition Alliance (ETA) in collaboration with the Oil and Gas Technology Centre (OGTC). This is a ground-breaking collaboration which aims to transform the energy sector, accelerating the UK’s transition to a net-zero future and ensuring a reliable and secure source of power for the UK.

  • Matthew Black

    Matthew Black

    Business Development Manager, Kensa

    Matthew is a passionate and knowledgeable energy professional who has over twelve years’ experience working in the renewable energy and low carbon heat sectors. Matthew is the Business Development Manager in Scotland for The Kensa Group. Kensa deliver shared ground loop array heating systems to social housing which offer a long-term sustainable solution to climate emergency and fuel poverty by providing low cost, low carbon warmth to Scotland's communities.

    In Scotland, global climate emergency action will require unprecedented change in how we heat our homes. The challenge and opportunity for social housing is exciting and promising. We have the resources and the solutions to deliver legacy heating projects that achieve real and tangible sustainable economic, environmental, and social impacts in Scotland's communities.

  • Annie Breaden

    Annie Breaden

    Head of Policy, Crown Estate Scotland

    Annie is Head of Policy at Crown Estate Scotland and has been with the organisation since its establishment in 2017. Annie leads on marine planning, policy and consenting, working closely with Marine Scotland and other key stakeholders on strategic issues. Other areas of focus for Annie currently include the Sustainable Communities Fund, understanding the wider value delivered by Crown Estate Scotland, and the development of the organisation’s first Climate Change Action Plan. Previously, Annie was employed by The Crown Estate for six years, focussing on offshore wind consenting. Her background is in EIA, specifically onshore wind and infrastructure projects.

  • Clare Foster

    Clare Foster

    Head of Clean Energy, Shepherd and Wedderburn

    Clare is head of Clean Energy at Shepherd and Wedderburn and also leads our project finance practice. Clare is a dual qualified project finance specialist and has been involved in the energy sector since the early renewable projects of the mid-1990s. Clare advises clients on UK projects spanning the energy sector (including onshore, offshore and floating wind, biomass, energy efficiency, tidal, hydro, small-scale renewables and heat) and leads the team on most clean energy transactions. A commissioner for the Edinburgh Climate Commission, Clare is also on the Board of RenewableUK

  • Claire Gilchrist

    Claire Gilchrist

    Offshore Consents Manager, EDF Renewables

    Claire is the Offshore Consents Manager for Neart na Gaoithe (NnG) Offshore Wind Farm. Jointly owed by EDF Renewables and ESB, NnG commenced offshore construction in 2020. Since joining the Project in July 2019, Claire has been responsible for coordinating pre-construction phase licenses, discharging post-consent conditions and monitoring construction phase compliance. Claire represents Scottish Renewables within two ScotMER specialist receptor groups and represents EDF Renewables on FLOWW (Fishing Liaison with Offshore Wind and Wet Renewables Group) and an ORE Catapult focus group. Previous employment comprises five years within environmental consultancy and two years with a global offshore survey company.

  • Andrea Glass

    Andrea Glass

    Head of Regional Skills Planning and Enabling Sectors, Skills Development Scotland

    Andrea Glass is the Head of Regional Skills Planning and Enabling Sectors at Skills Development Scotland. She heads up the team of five Regional Skills Planning Leads and the Key Sector Managers for Tourism, Food and Drink, Creative Industries, Health and Social Care and the Rural Economy. As the national skills agency, SDS works to support the skills and learning system to better align to the needs of the economy and help individuals and businesses to benefit from learning and skills development opportunities. She joined SDS in 2015 as the Regional Skills Planning Lead for the South West of Scotland from her previous role as the Depute Director of the Training and Employment Research Unit (TERU) at the University of Glasgow, a multi-disciplinary centre for applied, economic and social research. She has more than 25 years’ experience in economic development and skills strategy and action, with much of her work focused on the development and implementation of approaches to make more effective links between individuals and employment opportunities. She played a lead role in the development of the Climate Emergency Skills Action Plan, launched in December 2020.

  • Kristen Liptrot

    Kristen Liptrot

    Environmental and Ecological Manager, RWE

    Kristen has been working in the Scottish Renewable Energy sector for almost ten years, completing a brief contract with the RSPB before moving on to seven years in ecological consultancy. She has been with RWE Renewables since January 2018, working within onshore wind, particularly on the Operations side of the business. Kristen is mainly responsible for the implementation of all planning conditions of an ecological/environmental nature during the operational phase, but also supports and works alongside the Development and Construction teams. Her site responsibilities span the length of the UK, from Caithness in northern Scotland, to Kent in the south of England, as well as Wales and Ireland.

  • David MacArthur

    David MacArthur

    Director, MacArthur Green

    David is an ecologist and environmental economist. He has been heavily involved in renewable energy developments since 2002, in both the public and private sectors.

    He established MacArthur Green in spring 2009 - a carbon negative environmental consultancy which specialises in providing ecological, ornithological and hydrological services and related policy & guidance support to the renewable energy sector.

    MacArthur Green has also received recognition in 2020 (VIBES Scottish Environment Business Awards and the Scottish Green Energy Judges Award) for their leadership in transitioning to a carbon negative company, which includes their own nature-based solution to the climate emergency (a 29,000 native broadleaf woodland project).

  • Claire Mack - headshot

    Claire Mack

    Chief Executive, Scottish Renewables

    Claire has been Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables, the representative voice of Scotland’s renewable energy industry, since October 2017. She is responsible for leading the organisation’s work to grow Scotland’s renewables sector and sustain its position at the forefront of the global clean energy industry.

    Claire is a member of the First Minister’s Energy Advisory Board and the Renewable Energy Strategic Leadership Group, co-chaired by Scotland’s Energy Minister.

    Before joining Scottish Renewables, Claire was Director of Policy and Place at the Scottish Council for Development and Industry. She has previously worked in various roles at Ofcom in Scotland, focusing on economic regulation of telecoms, radio spectrum and the mail market while also looking at developing digital participation of individuals and businesses.

    Prior to this Claire worked in retail and the construction industry as well as on regulation of regional broadcasting in the Borders and North East of England.

  • John McDonald

    John McDonald


    John is the CEO of OPITO, the global skills organisation for the energy industry.

    In this role, he is focused on driving the international skills agenda for the energy sector and the development of a safe and skilled workforce through the delivery of global standards and high-quality skills development, workforce development solutions, and by leading dialogue with industries and governments across the UK and Europe, Middle East and Africa, Asia Pacific and the Americas.

    Most recently, John has led the organisation’s move into the renewable energy sector, marked by the launch of a new suite of products designed to address the skills requirements of a net-zero economy.

    John established and leads the Energy Skills Alliance, bringing together senior members of the UK and Scottish Governments, the energy industry, and industry bodies to create an integrated skills strategy for a net-zero UK energy industry.

    Appointed to the role in 2017, John previously held posts within OPITO as UK Managing Director and Director for International Workforce Development.

  • Francesca Osowska

    Francesca Osowska OBE

    CEO, NatureScot

    Prior to this, she spent over 20 years working for the civil service, initially as an economist. Francesca moved to Edinburgh in 1997 and has held a range of posts, including: Head of Sport at the Scottish Executive / Government; Principal Private Secretary to the First Minister, Alex Salmond MSP, MP; Director for Culture, External Affairs and Tourism; and Director for Housing, Regeneration and the Commonwealth Games. In 2012, Francesca was appointed as Director for the Commonwealth Games and Sport to oversee the delivery of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014, for which she subsequently received an OBE. Francesca then led the Scotland Office of the UK Government from January 2015 until her appointment to NatureScot in 2017.

    Francesca studied at Cambridge University where she obtained an MA in economics. She also received an MA in European economics from the College of Europe in Bruges.

    Outside of work Francesca enjoys triathlon and has completed four ironmans. Whilst she now takes a more relaxed approach to her training, Francesca still occasionally combines swim, bike and run

  • Meinolf Otto

    Meinolf Otto

    Global Business Development Specialist (FDI), Scottish Development International

    Meinolf Otto works since 2015 for Scottish Development International, the international arm of the Scottish government’s business development agency. As Global Business Development Specialist (FDI) he assists companies with their investment interests in Scotland from the SDI Central Europe office in Düsseldorf. Meinolf Otto has over a decade of previous entrepreneurial experience gained from renewable energy projects development and financing in North America and Europe. For SDI, he focuses on offshore wind and foremostly on connecting companies with the emerging green and blue hydrogen opportunities in Scotland.

  • Paul Sheerin

    Paul Sheerin

    Chief Executive, Scottish Engineering

    Paul Sheerin joined Scottish Engineering in March 2018 having previously held the role of Managing Director for B&W Diamond Power Specialty Ltd.

    Originally from Thurso in the north of Scotland, Paul studied Electrical and Electronic Engineering at The University of Glasgow and joined Nuclear Electric in 1990 as part of the Sizewell ‘B’ project team. After a period of working based in the USA, he returned to Scotland and joined Polaroid at its Dumbarton base in 1996 and became Managing Director from 2005 until March 2017. Paul has been a keen volunteer and supporter of Young Enterprise Scotland, acting as Schools Business Adviser and Dunbartonshire Area Team Chair, and enjoys opportunities to promote Enterprise, Engineering and Manufacturing within schools.

  • Jim Smith

    Jim Smith

    Managing Director, SSE Renewables

    Since November 2018, Jim Smith has been leading SSE Renewables, which brings the together the development and operation of all SSE’s renewables assets under a dedicated management team. Jim joined SSE in 1988 and has held a wealth of development, production and management roles within large scale power generation and transmission as well as renewables. Jim has also held roles in Energy Portfolio Management and was responsible for SSE’s generation, gas storage and E&P assets too. He was previously the Managing Director of Renewable Development, responsible for the development and construction of onshore and offshore wind power projects.

  • Morag Watson

    Morag Watson

    Director of Policy, Scottish Renewables

    Morag is Scottish Renewables’ Director of Policy. Her work involves overseeing Scottish Renewables’ policy function and key projects within Scotland’s leading renewables trade body, working on behalf of 250+ organisations to grow Scotland’s renewable energy sector and sustain its position at the forefront of the global clean energy industry.

    Morag has worked in policy for over 15 years and was previously a Senior Policy Officer with WWF Scotland, specialising in climate change, sustainable development and behaviour change.

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