Low carbon Scotland

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The Scottish Government has published a public engagement strategy demonstrating how it will work with others to drive forward Scotland’s transition to a low carbon society.

Part of the Climate Change Act, the strategy has a focus on education including a new project in which teenagers will explore the skills needed in a low carbon Scotland.

The document sets out actions that will be taken by a strong network of business organisations who are keen to promote the job opportunities a low carbon Scotland can bring.

What people can do in their daily lives to save energy and contribute to Scotland’s climate change targets are also highlighted.

Minister for the Environment and Climate Change Roseanna Cunningham said:

“Since the Climate Change Act was passed last year we have worked with organisations across Scotland to turn legislation into decisive action.

“We have set out clearly why a low carbon economic strategy is right for Scotland. And we have published our plans to become more energy efficient and reduce waste.

“However, we all know that to make major changes more needs to be done and every part of society has a part to play. We need to communicate this message clearly and how many of the individual actions we take can be a personal benefit as well as reducing our carbon emissions.

“This is a huge opportunity for Scotland to confirm our leading international position on the climate change agenda. It is great to see so many organisations unite to support these key changes, and play their role in ensuring Scotland’s low carbon future.”

Ian Marchant, Convener of Scotland’s 2020 climate group and Chief Executive of Scottish and Southern Energy, said:

“The progress we make as a country in tackling the twin challenges of excessive resource consumption and climate change will depend on how engaged everyone is in actions and decisions taken every day.

“That is why the commitment to a public and business engagement strategy is such an important part of the mix. It requires action by individuals, companies, and communities in areas like energy consumption and transport use – as well as action by politicians and public authorities and agencies.

“This strategy is very welcome, but we all need to build on it. Scotland’s 2020 climate group intends to do all it can to help overcome the barriers which might be preventing the kinds of radical changes required.”

Crawford Gilles, Chairman of Scottish Enterprise, said:

“We welcome the strategy, which marks an important step forward in bringing together the relevant communities across Scotland to achieve economic and social transformation. Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Development International will continue to work with key industries and ambitious companies to help create a globally competitive business environment and expedite Scotland’s transition to a low carbon economy. “

Statistics published last week showed that in 2009, renewables met over 27 per cent of Scotland’s electricity use.

Other findings in last weeks’s Energy Trends publication show that, in 2009:

* Electricity generated in Scotland increased by 3 per cent to 51,325 gigawatt hours (GWh)
* Gross electricity consumption in Scotland decreased by 4 per cent
* 24 per cent of electricity was exported (12,145 GWh) from Scotland
* There was a 20 per cent increase in the amount of electricity from renewables (to 10,744 GWh), which includes a 37 per cent rise in electricity generated from wind, wave and solar (mainly wind)
* Scottish renewables accounted for 43 per cent of total UK renewable output

Support for the Public Engagement Strategy

Mike Ferrigan, Climate Challenge Fund Coalition Moderator, said:

‘We welcome the strategy, which exemplifies Scotland’s pragmatic approach and commitment to engaging with all sectors of Scottish society, including climate change fund projects the length and breadth of Scotland. From the community perspective, it is a comprehensive, inclusive and groundbreaking publication which fulfils the requirement of the Act and ensures that Scotland will continue to lead the world by example.”

Stuart Nichol, SOLACE and Fife Council, said:

“The future will of necessity be based on a low carbon economy. Everyone will have a part to play, from national government to individuals. Local authorities will have a key role as they know their local community, and they understand what is needed for the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of their area.”

Dr Simon Pepper, climate change adviser, said:

“This strategy marks another important step in creating a low carbon Scotland – a transformation which can be exciting and liberating, bringing positive benefits to our people, our environment and our economy. That’s what this strategy is about – involving everyone in a process of beneficial change which will be much, much easier if we are pointing in the same direction. All the signals are now beginning to align, towards a Scotland which is at the forefront of a low carbon world. “

Owen Kelly, Chief Executive of Scottish Financial Enterprise, said:

“Scotland is a leading, global financial centre with numerous international companies located here, which means we have a real opportunity to play a leading role in making the change to a low carbon economy. We welcome the public engagement strategy and its vision of how the business community can play an active role.”

Jo Bucci, Managing Director of the People’s Postcode Lottery and member of the 2020 Climate Group, said:

“The strategy represents an important first step by the Scottish Government in engaging with the public on the challenges associated with tackling climate change. By focusing on everything from primary, secondary and further and higher education to working with communities and businesses alike, this strategy takes a comprehensive and collaborative approach to communicating with the public.”

Willy Roe, Chair of Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), said:

“I warmly welcome publication of this public engagement strategy. Low carbon is clearly an admirable goal in its own right, and one which HIE and our partners are committed to help deliver. It also presents Scotland with tremendous economic opportunities which we must seize now for the benefit of present and future generations. HIE has a great deal to offer, not least in our vision for the Highlands and Islands to become a world capital for renewable energy and a fully digitally-connected region.”