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11 June 2010

Scotland: climate change leader

Scotland's action to transform to a low carbon economy has been highlighted to Europe as a leading example of climate change.

The Environment Council in Luxembourg today heard how setting tough emissions reduction targets in Scotland is providing the stability for additional investment in low carbon industries.

Climate Change Minister Stewart Stevenson this morning met Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Chris Huhne to agree on the economic case for setting a Europe wide 30 per cent greenhouse gas reduction target. They also discussed carbon capture and storage and the forthcoming UK Energy Bill.

In a meeting with Ms Lykke Friis, Danish Minister for the Climate, Energy and Equal Rights, Mr Stevenson discussed co-operation opportunities with Denmark in offshore renewables, environmental planning and wind energy. The Scottish European Green Energy Centre in Aberdeen will follow up these discussions up with Danish counterparts.

Stewart Stevenson said:

"Scotland's ambition is already setting an example internationally to cut emissions and it is important to take every opportunity to reinforce the message that a low-carbon Europe is feasible, affordable - and ultimately unavoidable. The Environment Council has today heard our case that moving beyond the current 20 per cent emissions reduction target for 2020 is fundamental for European leadership in this area.

"We are working closely with the UK government and others in Europe to put the case that investment in low carbon technologies and industries can bring new opportunities for economic growth."

UK Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne said:

"This is a new start, with the UK Government and Scottish Government working together in making the economic case for going low carbon, including cutting EU emissions by 30 per cent.

"I had a very constructive first meeting with Stewart Stevenson before the EU Environment Council where we agreed on the advantages of taking early action. As I saw in Aberdeen recently, Scotland is already benefiting from the low carbon move, in particular with its renewable industry."

Stewart Stevenson
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