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A Low Carbon Economic Strategy for Scotland: Scotland - A Low Carbon Society

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John Swinney photoMinisterial Foreword

On 22 March 2010, the Scottish Government published the discussion paper Towards a Low Carbon Economy, which outlined the Scottish Government's plans to move towards a low carbon economy in Scotland, as part of the overarching Government Economic Strategy. It identified the key dimensions of a transition strategy towards a low carbon economy, proposed an approach and timeframe and invited key stakeholders to engage in the development of the strategy. I am pleased that many partners took up that invitation and I am grateful for that input which has been invaluable in ensuring we set out on the right road to a low carbon future. The Strategy has been developed in partnership with the Joint Working Group of the Scottish Strategic Forum and SEPA and I will look to them to work with the Scottish Government to ensure the streamlined and coordinated delivery of public sector support, to aid the transition to a low carbon economy.

As I have stated previously, the transition of Scotland's industries and firms to low carbon processes, products and services is both an economic and environmental imperative, and offers the potential to stimulate and exploit rapidly expanding global markets. At the same time, over and above our world leading legislation in the field, Scotland must also adapt economically and socially to the uncertain, yet inevitable, consequences of climate change. Moving to a low carbon economy is essential to both capture the opportunities and mitigate the threats.

As Ian Marchant Chair of the 20:20 Climate Group said 'Low carbon is a way of thinking, behaving and operating that minimises carbon emissions while enabling sustainable use of resources, economic growth and quality of life improvements'

We need to be sure that every opportunity is taken to place Scotland in the most advantageous position so that the benefits of the shift to low carbon are felt across the economy, at local and national level, in the private and public sector and in our communities. This is more important today than ever before as we face very challenging economic times in the coming years and I know this can only be achieved by building partnerships across all sectors.

This Low Carbon Economic Strategy builds on the responses from Scottish business, industry and research base, and in particular will provide a framework to complement the work of the 20:20 group. It provides a Scottish focus, alongside UK Government initiatives, on what action is required to transform Scotland's industries and infrastructure, into exemplars to the world of what can be achieved in the pursuit of a low carbon economy. I know that by working together we can make it happen.

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John Swinney
MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth