Meet Steve Burgess – Green candidate for Edinburgh North & Leith

Steve Burgess is the Scottish Green Party candidate for Edinburgh North & Leith constituency in the 2019 General Election.

Edinburgh born, Steve grew up in North Edinburgh in the Broughton and Warriston areas and has lived here most of his life. Steve has strong family connections with North Edinburgh – his great-grandparents and grand-parents ran a grocer’s and florist’s in Canonmills. Steve’s mum still lives in Warriston. 

Steve went to school in Edinburgh and attended Edinburgh University where he studied for a BSc. in Biological Sciences.  He gained his doctorate in molecular biology at the University of Kent before returning to Edinburgh as a post-doctoral researcher at the Centre for HIV Research at King’s Buildings.

Having become convinced of the need to tackle the global environmental crisis, Steve completed an MSc. in Environmental Studies at Strathclyde University in 1995, with a dissertation on ‘Sustainable Renewable Energy for Scotland’ based at Friends of the Earth Scotland.

Steve then worked as a campaigner with Greenpeace Australia before joining the Rainbow Warrior and sailing to New Zealand for the 1997 ‘Get Green’ tour, which included being arrested and charged for protesting oil exploration on the slopes of Mount Taranaki. 

On returning to Scotland, Steve worked as the Scottish Green Party’s campaign co-ordinator and later was press officer and researcher for Robin Harper MSP. He was Head of Policy & Research for the seven-strong Green Group of MSPs following the 2003 election, drafting Member’s bill consultations on Climate Change Targets and Renewable Energy for Mark Ruskell MSP.

Steve is currently a City of Edinburgh Councillor and was first elected in 2007 to represent Southside/Newington ward. He was re-elected for a third term in 2017.  Steve led the Green Councillors Group for over 8 years, sitting on the Council’s overarching Policy & Strategy Committee. He has also served on the Housing committee, Transport-Environment committee, Planning and Regulatory committees and on the Licensing Board. He is currently the Green Group lead on Education Children & Families committee and spokesperson for the Climate Emergency.

At Edinburgh council Steve has been responsible for first proposing ‘Park Green’ – parking charges linked to vehicle CO2 emissions, 20mph limits and the Transient Visitor Levy. He recently proposed the City’s 2030 Net-Zero target, the City-wide Climate partnership and a Citizen’s Assembly on the Climate Emergency.    

Steve is married to Julita and they have two young children who go to Taobh na Pairce, the Gaelic primary in Leith. 

When not at the City Chambers or at home with family, Steve enjoys trying to learn Gaelic,  playing fiddle at Scots music sessions, hill walking and sailing on the West coast, having recently gained an RYA ‘Coastal Skipper’ sailing qualification.

Watch Steve’s candidate bio video on facebook here.