Cop 28 attendees and costs: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Information requested

  1. Who within, associated with, or invited by the Scottish Government attended COP28.
  2. What their individual roles were.
  3. What they achieved.
  4. For a detailed breakdown of the expenses incurred by each attendee, include their class of airline ticket and hotel.
  5. Whether a photographer was hired to attend COP28, and if so what the justification for doing so was.


I enclose a copy of some of the information you requested.

The answer to your question is:

  • COP28 was attended by the First Minister for Scotland, Humza Yousaf, and the Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Net Zero, and Just Transition Mairi McAllan.
  • The Scottish Government provided funding to hire a UAE based PR Agency, Seven Media, to deliver in-market media and communications services in the UAE. The contract covers a 6 month period to deliver a programme of communications activity from 8th August 2023 to 8th February 2024, including Scotland’s presence at ADIPEC and COP28. As part of this package, the Scottish Government utilised Seven Media’s in-house photography and videography capabilities for specific events in the UAE as part of this programme of activity. A photographer was not hired specifically for COP28.

An exemption under section 27(1) of FOISA applies to some of the information requested because we aim to publish that information within 12 weeks of the date of your request. We consider that it is reasonable to withhold the information until that date, rather than release some of this information before the planned publication date.

This exemption is subject to the ‘public interest test’. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption. We recognise that there is some public interest in release due to public interest in COP28 and this will be met by our planned publication. In the meantime, there is a greater public interest in taking the time necessary to ensure the information has been properly collated and checked before it is published as planned. Also, we see no public interest in disrupting our programme of work to release the information ahead of the intended publication date.

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Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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