LONDON: “Scotland knows that moving to a low carbon future is not only a moral imperative, it is also a massive economic opportunity – and we are determined to lead by example,” says Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, in an exclusive video released at Climate Week NYC on The Climate Group’s new digital channel Climate TV. “In Scotland it’s one of the fastest growing parts of our economy, already employing 50,000 people.
“This year Climate Week NYC comes at an especially important time – less than three months before the Paris climate change conference,” an event that the First Minister says is “delighted to support”.
Scotland has also signed the Under2MOU and has reported its emissions through the Compact of States and Regions, The Climate Group’s platform to report sub-national governments’ emissions – an initiative that “shows the need and way towards a strong agreement in Paris,” remarks Nicola Sturgeon.
The First Minister highlights the important work that Scotland, a “proud member of The Climate Group’s States & Regions Alliance for a decade now”, is achieving in tackling climate change.
“Action on climate change is the right thing to do, and we are already feeling the consequences,” she says. The state is a pioneer on the issue of climate justice, being the first national government in the world to establish a ‘climate justice fund’ to recognize the impact of climate change on the most vulnerable.
Scotland is also heavily investing in clean technology and today generates “half of our electricity needs from renewables – and we expect that to be 100% in a few years time,” says the First Minister. A recent report by WWF stated Scotland can be fossil-fuel free by 2030, underlining the enormous potential for the whole region – in particular with wind and wave power.
The state has pushed forward very ambitious targets, committing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 42% by 2020, and at least 80% by 2050 on a 1990 baseline. “We are already three quarters of the way to our target and confident in achieving it,” says Nicola Sturgeon.
“Rapid action to a low carbon economy will benefit everyone. It tackles climate change, develops new technologies, and creates new jobs.