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Towards a Low Carbon Economy for Scotland: Appendix



Low Carbon Economy Framework

We are taking action to transform Scotland's economy, to position Scotland to play a leading role in the development of a low carbon economy.

Scotland is taking climate change seriously, in the way we work, the way we travel and the way we live. With the world's most ambitious climate change targets we are driving innovation in the industries of the future, establishing Scotland as the test bed for a new industrial revolution, and taking action to use resources more efficiently, reducing our reliance on increasingly expensive fossil fuels and cutting our carbon emissions.

The main economic opportunity for Scotland lies in the development of a low carbon economy. Over decades we have developed the infrastructure and the expertise to harvest carbon reserves. Drawing on the legacy of that investment, developing that skills base and with unrivalled natural resources we are making commitments on renewables and carbon capture and storage that will lead to the development of major new industries in Scotland, and major new employment.

Global economic conditions and Scotland's natural resources provide Scottish businesses with a competitive advantage, in overseas markets where Scottish expertise can support the development of low carbon supply chains; in attracting inward investment to support the development of new technologies and new infrastructure; and in developing indigenous technologies. New industries will require access to financial and human capital. We are developing new funding streams, focusing on skills and improving access to Scotland's world leading intellectual assets.

The Scottish Government cannot deliver a low carbon economy alone. Delivering our vision for a low carbon economy will call on contributions from partners across the public sector; from enterprise agencies, local authorities, and planners, from our universities and colleges; from the private sector; energy companies, businesses, from the sector and from the public.

The Scottish Government is therefore publishing a discussion document setting out what the Government and public bodies can do and calls on others to define their contribution to making Scotland a global low carbon leader.

The Low Carbon Economy

Climate change will have a major influence over the long-term economic growth and stability of the world economy. Scotland has already taken a lead with the most ambitious emission reduction targets in the world. It is an economic imperative that we now support these efforts with a move to a low carbon economy. This also offers perhaps the best opportunity to develop new industries in Scotland - exploiting Scotland's natural and intellectual assets.

This transition presents a range of low carbon global market opportunities, not just in the renewables industry but in every sector and business across Scotland. As we emerge from recession, we have an opportunity to develop new, low carbon and environmental products and services to help accelerate economic recovery in the short term as well as drive long-term sustainable economic growth. These include exploiting new market opportunities in the low carbon environmental goods and services sector as well as ensuring that existing sectors and businesses are able to adapt effectively to a changing climate.

Key issues to consider are:

  • the strategic priorities and mechanisms to help Scotland realise the scale of potential market opportunities in a global context;
  • the challenges and opportunities of helping existing firms and industries adapt to a changing climate;
  • how to increase the support in innovation, investment and skills necessary to drive change;
  • the need to assist behavioural changes among firms and individuals; and
  • the need for a strategic and coherent approach across the public sector, aligned with the low carbon market opportunities with the greatest economic potential for Scotland.

Examples of current action to promote the Low Carbon Economy are:


The Beauly to Denny upgrade is the most significant and important electricity infrastructure reinforcement project in Scotland for a generation. This development will help unlock Scotland's onshore and offshore green energy potential. The improved transmission capacity the development will bring is crucial to help Scotland meet our 2020 renewable electricity demand targets, and enable Scotland to export renewable energy to the rest of the UK and Europe.

Action on energy efficiency

Energy efficiency is the most cost effective way to achieve emissions savings. Measures to improve Scotland's energy use will be detailed in our Energy Efficiency Action Plan which will be published in the Spring. . By 2020 such investment could directly support around 10,000 jobs in Scotland, mainly in retrofitting existing buildings, with additional employment likely to result from associated manufacturing, operation & maintenance, and scheme management activities 1.

National Renewables Infrastructure Plan - offshore infrastructure

Our National Renewable Infrastructure Plan sets out a framework for action by the Scottish Government, agencies, and partners to ensure at least 20% of total Scottish energy use comes from renewable sources by 2020. Scotland is leading the world in the development of deep-water offshore wind-farm deployment and construction and has the potential to do the same in marine and tidal energy generation. The scale of opportunity is enormous.

In order to realise the potential of its natural resources, supply chain and innovation strengths, it is vital that Scotland develops its ports and adjacent manufacturing hubs in tandem. Stage one of the National Renewables Infrastructure Plan, launched in February, identifies sites required for large-scale infrastructure investment in the offshore wind, wave and tidal sectors. As part of this work, discussions have already taken place with the European Investment Bank ( EIB) on the opportunities for the EIB to become involved. The Scottish Government also intends to host a large-scale finance conference in Scotland later in the summer, which will stimulate new investment models and ideas for the funding of offshore infrastructure and Scotland's low carbon transition more widely.

Environmental and clean technologies

Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency and the Scottish Funding Council launched an action plan in Autumn 2009 for the development of environmental and clean technologies ( ECT). This is seeking to deliver global market opportunities within five sub-sectors:

  • Sustainable transport;
  • Building technologies;
  • Water and waste water treatment;
  • Recovery and recycling; and
  • Environmental monitoring and instrumentation.

Carbon Capture and Storage

Our vision is for Scotland to become a leader in the demonstration and deployment of Carbon Capture and Storage ( CCS) technology, utilising Scotland's advantages and strengths. We have published a CCS roadmap and we are aiming to see the development of a number of CCS demonstration and research projects in Scotland.

How to get involved

The purpose of this discussion paper is to invite views on the low carbon economic opportunities that offer the greatest potential to stimulate sustainable economic growth for Scotland. These will inform the development of a Low Carbon Strategy that provides strategic direction for the public and private sectors alike. The low carbon transition will fundamentally transform the Scottish economy. To manage this transition effectively, while at the same time maximising Scotland's economic potential within a global context, requires a high level of ambition, focus and collective alignment of effort. Views in response to this consultation document are invited from until 30 June 2010, and the consultation process will also include engagement with key stakeholders.

This paper has been prepared by the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise and in conjunction with Joint Working Group of the Scottish Strategic Forum. This includes Transport Scotland, the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities ( COSLA), Visit Scotland, Scottish Funding Council, Skills Development Scotland and Scottish Development International. The Scottish Environment Protection Agency ( SEPA) has also made a major contribution.

The 2020 Delivery Group

A new 2020 Delivery Group was established in December 2009 to ensure that all sectors of Scotland's economy and civic society contribute fully to achieving the Climate Change Delivery Plan which includes the target of a 42% reduction in emissions over the next decade.

The Group has a wide membership from both the public and private sectors and has the remit to provide strong and visible leadership to all sectors of Scotland and inspire them to do more to reduce carbon emissions through innovation, partnership and collaboration.