Al Gore to address Scottish Low Carbon Conference


by Margaret Little

Former US Vice President and Nobel Laureate, Al Gore will be a keynote speaker at this year’s annual Scottish Low Carbon Investment Conference.  As Scotland is a world leader in both addressing climate change and renewables, the conference, being held in Edinburgh, is seen as a leading international forum for emerging renewable energy and other low carbon markets.

With around a quarter of both Europe’s tidal and offshore wind capacity, and 10 per cent of its potential in wave power, as well as significant opportunities in hydro-power, onshore wind and biomass, the Scottish Government aims to ensure that Scotland has a truly world-leading renewable energy sector.

The Conference is strongly backed by both the Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise.  It forms part of the economic development agency’s project to create innovation in finance and secure investment in Scotland’s growing low-carbon economy. Other key partners include Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce, which is also the conference organiser.

The conference, being held at Edinburgh International Conference Centre on September 27 and 28 this year, will be opened by Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond.

First Minister Alex Salmond said: “Scotland is a world leader in the fast-growing low carbon sectors. Our huge clean energy resources and established industrial expertise mean we are well-placed to seize the considerable opportunities presented by the growth of low carbon industries. I am delighted that former Vice-President Gore will be attending this year’s conference and I look forward to welcoming him to Scotland.

“The conference will bring together government, finance, utilities and developers to engage directly on the opportunities and challenges presented by the global shift to low carbon economies.  Since last September, inward investment decisions by world-leading wind turbine manufacturers Mitsubishi, Gamesa and Doosan, and by global power giants ABB and Alstom into our wave energy technologies, have underlined Scotland’s position as a global centre of excellence for offshore renewables.

“Scotland’s ‘2020 vision’ to generate the equivalent of 100 per cent of our annual electricity consumption from renewables, alongside our ambitions to reduce energy demand and improve efficiency, will underpin the delivery of our world-leading targets to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions. The world faces both a moral obligation to act against growing climate chaos and a clear economic imperative to avoid much greater future costs – a truth that is being increasingly recognised across the world.

“These are issues which Mr Gore has long and consistently championed, with an unswerving determination to bring them to the attention of both ordinary citizens and key policy-makers around the world.  His words will provide great encouragement and impetus to delegates and to others in Scotland, to strive still further and faster towards a sustainable future for all nations of the world and for the generations that follow us.”