Foreword, by John Swinney MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth
The transition towards a low carbon economy presents both a challenge and major opportunity for Scotland. Scotland has already taken a lead with the most ambitious emission reduction targets in the world. The transition of Scotland’s industries and firms to low carbon products and services is both an economic and environmental imperative and also offers the potential to
stimulate and exploit rapidly expanding global markets. In addition to the statutory imperative of reducing emissions, as required by the Climate Change (Scotland) Act, there are important economic and social reasons for starting this process now with commitment and urgency. At the same time, Scotland must adapt to the uncertain, yet inevitable, physical and economic consequences of climate change, impacts which are already unavoidable.
Moving to a low carbon economy is essential to both capture the opportunities and mitigate the threats.
This document initiates a process to develop a strategy for a low carbon economy in Scotland. Specifically it seeks to:
? Highlight the far-reaching implications of the package of measures required to achieve Scotland’s emission reduction targets – and the transition to a low carbon economy which this entails;
? Summarise Scotland’s competitive positioning in relation to becoming a low carbon economy;
? Summarise the opportunities and challenges of adaptation to climate change;
? Promote discussion about the priorities and approaches for collectively stimulating low carbon economic growth as an integral part of the Government Economic Strategy.
Scotland has an opportunity to become a world leader in the low carbon economy and we would welcome your participation in reshaping our policy approach to make this ambition a reality.