Chief Executive of the European Climate Foundation and leading academic Professor Laurence Tubiana spoke at The University of Edinburgh on Friday 27th November, at a special event hosted by RSGS, where she was awarded with Honorary Fellowship of the Society and the prestigious RSGS Shackleton Medal for her work as an internationally recognized leader in the global climate arena. 

Professor Tubiana is most widely known for her instrumental role in the development and negotiation of The Paris Agreement in 2015, when she was appointed as France's Special Representative for COP21. Professor Tubiana’s extraordinary dedication and diplomatic skills were instrumental in the success of the conference. She worked tirelessly to promote dialogue, understanding, and consensus among nations, and played a central role in the deal being adopted by 196 countries. The Paris Climate Agreement is still the most significant international accord, setting ambitious targets to limit global warming and greenhouse gas emissions, and marking a significant and historic turning point in the global fight against climate change.

On presenting Laurence Tubiana with her award, RSGS Trustee David Howe commented “Laurence has consistently demonstrated a profound understanding of the complexities of climate change and the importance of finding practical solutions, by fostering collaborations between governments, businesses, civil society, and academia- all in pursuit of a more sustainable future.

Professor Tubiana has helped drive climate action nationally and internationally which has directly influenced positive action for the better and in doing so has helped instil a belief that things can be better. Her leadership has been nothing short of inspirational, and so it is with immense pleasure that we present her with the RSGS Shackleton Medal and Honorary Fellowship.”

Previous recipients of the RSGS Shackleton Medal include fellow key architects of the Paris Climate Agreement, including former Prime Minister of France Laurent Fabius and Costa Rican Diplomat Christiana Figueres. 

In attendance at the event was Chris Stark, Chief Executive of the UK Climate Change Committee and creator of the iconic ‘climate stripes’, who commented “Laurence Tubiana has worked tirelessly to combat climate change. Her capacity to bring people together and find the progressive solutions is an inspiration. She is a true pioneer and it’s wonderful to see her receive this award in Scotland.” 

“I am very grateful to receive this medal and Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society” commented Professor Tubiana, “it really is a privilege and you can count on me to be a very engaged Fellow.”