A plan to create new green jobs and capture the opportunities of the low carbon economy is published today.
It is estimated around 60,000 new Scottish green jobs could be created by 2020 and the Low Carbon Economic Strategy crystallises the Scottish Government's approach to utilise Scotland's vast natural resources and competitive advantages to grow the economy and cut emissions.
The Strategy will focus public sector support on low carbon industries and forge new private sector and international partnerships.
The Strategy comes on the same day as the Government is investing an extra £1 million into the Scottish Green Bus Fund. Actions in the Strategy, which has been produced with business and the wider public sector, include:
Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth John Swinney said:
"Moving to a low carbon economy is an economic and environmental imperative - it is Scotland's biggest opportunity this century. Scotland can become a leader in the global low carbon market, and reduce our impact on the planet, if we seize new opportunities and capitalise on our vast comparative advantages.
"The move to a low carbon economy will see the development of low carbon goods, processes and services in rapidly expanding markets, alongside high levels of efficiency. We can grow the economy, generate wealth and create new green jobs and this Strategy sets out how we will do that.
"The Strategy sets out the global opportunities in low carbon goods and services and the role of government and the public sector in supporting business. Along with the wider public sector, we will provide the focus for all sectors to work together to build the right partnerships and strengthen business confidence, create new jobs and put the Scottish economy on a green, sustainable and secure footing."
Lena Wilson, Chief Executive of Scottish Enterprise said:
"The transition towards a low carbon economy presents major new and global opportunities for Scotland and it is vital that we have a clear strategy that will allow the public and private sectors to focus and work together to deliver the best return on investment.
"The establishment of the strategy further reinforces Scotland's position as a leading nation in renewable energy and low carbon technologies and Scottish Enterprise is committed to supporting Scotland's businesses to help them to diversify and seize new market opportunities ahead of the competition."
Alex Paterson, HIE's Chief Executive said: "HIE very much welcomes this Strategy. It provides a clear message to businesses, communities and the public sector about the opportunities and benefits that a low carbon economy can genuinely offer. It is an important document for all of us as it highlights that low carbon isn't just about energy. HIE is keen to ensure that we, together with our partners, play a key role in integrating low carbon into the everyday life of every business and community across our region."
Ian Marchant, Convenor of Scotland's 2020 Climate Group added: "The Low Carbon Economic Strategy is a welcome and clear sign to Scottish business of the importance of the low carbon economy. The Strategy demonstrates the vast opportunities for business to build on and highlights how a transition to a low carbon economy is a way to accelerate economic recovery while tackling climate change. The Low Carbon Economic Strategy provides a framework for business and it will support and complement the work that our 20:20 Climate Group is taking forward in relation to moving to a low carbon Scotland."
The scale of the economic opportunities for Scotland are vast:
There are low carbon opportunities right across the economy, for instance:
The Low Carbon Economic Strategy can be downloaded here and is an integral part of the Government's Economic Strategy to secure sustainable economic growth, and is a key component of the broader approach to meeting Scotland's climate change targets. The Strategy is closely linked to the forthcoming draft Report on Proposals and Policies, setting out actions to deliver emissions reductions to 2020 and beyond; the draft Public Engagement Strategy, explaining our approach to engaging people about what they can do to help Scotland take action on climate change; and the Energy Efficiency Action Plan, a programme of activity to improve energy efficiency in households, business and the public sector.
The Strategy has been developed with, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Transport Scotland, SEPA, Scottish Development International, Scottish Funding Council, Skills Development Scotland, VisitScotland and COSLA. The Strategy takes account of responses to the consultation 'Towards a Low Carbon Economy a Strategy for Scotland' launched in March 2010.
For further information contact Michael Berry - 0131 244 2967 / 07973 370 843