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Scotland’s economic strategy places new focus on low carbon economy

The Sustainable Scotland Network reports on the Scottish Government’s updated economic strategy and the new strategic priority for a transition to a low carbon economy.

Sustainable Scotland NetworkThe Sustainable Scotland Network helps local authorities to improve performance on sustainability and reports on sustainable development news from Scotland.

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The Scottish Government published an updated version of its economic strategy on 12 September. The 2011 strategy, which is intended to provide direction to the public sector, establishes a new strategic priority – transition to a low carbon economy – in addition to the five strategic priorities that were set out in 2007.

The updated Government Economic Strategy was launched by Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth, John Swinney, who said that the measures contained in the document would “accelerate recovery, drive sustainable growth and develop a more resilient and adaptable economy.”

The Strategy is intended to ensure that central and local government and other public bodies, work collaboratively with the private, academic and third sectors, in pursuit of the Scottish Government’s purpose and economic recovery.

The document maintains the five Strategic Priorities that were set out in the original 2007 Economic Strategy:

  • Supportive Business Environment;
  • Learning, Skills and Well-being;
  • Infrastructure Development and Place;
  • Effective Government;
  • Equity.

Mr Swinney said the addition of the sixth Strategic Priority – Transition to a Low Carbon Scotland – would “build on Scotland’s competitive advantage in this area and reflect the excellent opportunity we have to secure investment and jobs in the low carbon sector.”

The Government’s key actions contained in the Transition to a Low Carbon Economy strategic priority include:

  • A £70 million National Renewables Infrastructure Fund to help leverage private sector investment to develop the infrastructure across the country to support offshore renewables
  • Positioning Scotland as a world leader in low carbon activities – a sector which is estimated to have the potential to support 130,000 jobs by 2020
  • Investing in further improving the quality of Scotland’s housing stock, including initiatives to improve energy efficiency and tackle fuel poverty.

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