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Transition to a low carbon economy

The Low Carbon Economic Strategy (LCES) is an integral part of the Government's Economic Strategy to secure sustainable economic growth, and a key component of the broader approach to meet Scotland's climate change targets and secure the transition to a low carbon economy in Scotland. It is closely linked to:

· the draft Climate Change Report on Proposals and Policies setting out actions to deliver emissions reductions to 2020 and beyond;

· the Public Engagement Strategy, explaining our approach to engaging people about what they can do to help Scotland take action on climate change; and

· the Energy Efficiency Action Plan, describing a programme of activity to improve energy efficiency in households, business and the public sector.

The LCES seeks to establish strong policy direction around Scotland's key low carbon economic opportunities and strengthen business confidence in exploiting them. It sets out:

· the global economic opportunities that will arise in making the transition to a low carbon economy;

· the drivers and barriers to the development of these opportunities and growth of the low carbon economy; and

· the role of government, and wider public sector in supporting business to overcome the barriers.

Section 1 of the strategy document presents the Low Carbon Economic Strategy for Scotland identifying aims and outlining strategic objectives and immediate actions that government and the wider public sector are undertaking to support business and support the transition to a low carbon economy. Section 2 considers, in more detail, the specific challenges and opportunities for business and industry across the whole economy and the role of specific sectors.

Related Documents:

Consultation document: Low Carbon Economy discussion paper

Responses to the Consultation

Environmental and Clean Technology

As part of the transition, the Enterprise Agencies, SEPA and the academic sector are collaborating on a project to develop the Environmental and Clean Technology (ECT) sector in Scotland. The project will focus in the first instance on the development of technologies in relation to recovery and recycling; water and waste water treatment; sustainable transport; sustainable buildings; and environmental monitoring and instrumentation.

Recent research has shown that the Scottish Low Carbon and Environmental Goods Sector were worth £8.5 billion in 2007/08 [1] and is forecast to grow to around £12 billion by 2015/16. It is now estimated that concerted action combined with an expanding global market could increase low carbon employment in Scotland to around 130,000 by 2020 from the current figure of some 70,000.

The implications are far-reaching across the whole of the economy. We have an opportunity to develop new, low carbon products and services to both accelerate economic recovery in the short-term as well as drive long-term sustainable economic growth. In short, 'low carbon' is an environmental and economic imperative.

[1] Skills for a Low Carbon and Resource Efficient Economy http://skills4lowcarboneconomy.co.uk/

[1] Scottish Enterprise EGS Market Analysis, ECT Action Plan for 2009/10, Annex 2 (Sept 2009)