The Hutton Series

Panmure house

The third session, Tuesday 9 March at 2.30pm

About the series

The Hutton Series on Climate Change is a series of events taking place across 2020-21 at Adam Smith’s Panmure House, bringing together a diverse cross-section of experts, business leaders, scientists, and concerned citizens in the service of one simple aim:

To identify ten key priorities, innovations and actions to mitigate the climate crisis.

Panmure House in Edinburgh is the final remaining home of globally renowned philosopher Adam Smith. During his twelve-year tenancy between 1778 and 1790, he regularly hosted key luminaries of the Scottish Enlightenment to debate the most pressing issues at the brink of the first industrial revolution.

More than two hundred years later as the world grapples to avert environmental disaster by shifting to new energy sources while recovering from a global pandemic, the Hutton Series aims to recreate these ground-breaking discussions – both virtually and at the same historic location in Edinburgh’s world heritage site.

Climate change is an issue with fundamental implications for all of society, and all of society should have the chance to debate, discuss and influence how the world adapts to an unprecedented rate of environmental change. Climate marches worldwide have demonstrated the importance in dialogue around climate change, and the complexities involved in building a sustainable future. 

The Hutton Series invites voices and opinions from around the world, by submitting real-time questions to the debate panels. Due to social distancing, this first event will be live-streamed as an interactive webinar and there will be options to attend follow-up workshops.

About the session


The third session will take place on Tuesday 9 March from 2-3.30 pm.

The keynote speakers are Chris Stark, Chief Executive of the Climate Change Committee, and Dr Rebecca Heaton, Head of Climate Change, Drax Group.

Each will deliver a 5-minute keynote, before taking questions and participating in a debate panel led by Professor Mercedes-Maroto Valer (Associate Principal-Global Sustainability, Heriot-Watt University).

Our speakers will be joined by Professor John Ludden CBE of Heriot-Watt University to debate and discuss the key scientific and technological ramifications of climate change.


Registration is open on the Panmure House website for the four upcoming sessions.

Please follow Panmure House on TwitterInstagramLinkedIn and Facebook for updates about the session and help us spread the word by sharing the event with your network.

Our speakers


Dr Rebecca Heaton is responsible for Drax Group’s efforts to mitigate climate change, ensuring that sound science underpins climate change policies and business strategy. She is also responsible for developing sustainability and climate change research programmes. Rebecca has a 20-year global career working at the interface between business, science and policy. After an early career in academia, she has held senior roles in a number of large energy companies.

A chartered forester, her expertise spans energy, climate change and land-use and the role business has to play in enabling the UK to decarbonise. She sits on the UK Climate Change Committee and the Council of the Natural Environment Research Council.

Chris Stark is the Chief Executive of the UK Committee on Climate Change (CCC), the public body tasked by the Climate Change Act to be the independent authority on tackling climate change. Chris leads a team of analysts and specialists, offering expert insight into the challenges of reducing UK emissions and adapting to the changing climate. Chris led the CCC’s work in 2019 to recommend a new ‘Net Zero’ target for the UK – now brought into law. He speaks regularly on the transition to a zero carbon economy and the need to confront climate change with urgency.

Chris has wide experience in government. He has designed economic policy in Whitehall, including in HM Treasury and the former Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. He was previously Director of Energy and Climate Change in the Scottish Government, leading the development of the Scottish energy and climate strategies.