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10 December 2009

Minister's Mandate to Talk Climate Change


Scotland's climate change minister has been given the full support of parliament to take Scotland's emissions targets to Copenhagen to inspire the rest of the world to take action.

The Minister told a parliamentary debate on climate change today that Scotland's ambitious targets sent a message to the rest of the world that the nation is committed to deliver on emissions reductions and has already begun to make significant progress. He said:

"We are a nation with a record of supporting others in their development which is why we are taking the Scottish example to Copenhagen - to lead and inspire others to action. Legislation alone won't bring about the move to a low carbon economy and therefore this Government is taking action which will lead to real changes in everyday actions: by businesses; the public sector; voluntary and community groups; and individuals.

As further evidence of Scotland's commitment to respond to our global responsibilities on climate change, the Minister also announced that the Scottish Government will be establishing a number of Fellowships to allow talented individuals from Commonwealth countries to come to Scotland to share in our cutting edge knowledge on climate change adaptation and mitigation. The 2014 Climate Change Saltire Fellowships will fulfil a commitment made as part of the Commonwealth Games bid to set up a carbon emissions reduction fund.

The Minister said:

"The Fellowships will be targeted at climate change mitigation and adaptation measures in Commonwealth countries, particularly those least able to deal with the impacts of climate change. We believe there is a tremendous opportunity to assist Commonwealth countries through transferring relevant expertise in knowledge and skills transfer in areas where Scotland is strong, such as carbon capture and storage and community action on climate change.

The Fellowships will bring direct and lasting benefits to Commonwealth countries through reducing emissions or assisting adaptation in a way that best meets local circumstances and there will also be benefits to the Scottish economy and to the economies of Commonwealth countries through the exchange and application of climate change knowledge."

The Minister also announced a new alliance to progress the work being done on low carbon development. He said that a range of Scottish organisations from across industry, government, academia and civil society are to join together to co-operate with the efforts of the UK and the EU in establishing this global framework for low carbon energy supplies.

Mr Stevenson said:

"This partnership will work together to support these international efforts through offering expertise and capacity and to pull together packages for funding support where necessary. Assuming that the UNFCCC process is able to agree a legal and financial framework for low carbon mitigation and adaptation actions in developing countries during 2010, this Scottish partnership stands ready to work with the UK and our European and global partners on a series of practical actions to deliver on this."

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