Due to changes made to the official Scottish Parliament website at the start of 2011, our parser that used to fetch their web pages and convert them into more structured information has stopped working. We’re afraid we cannot give a timescale as to when we will be able to cover the Scottish Parliament again. Sorry for any inconvenience caused.
Jim Mather (Scottish National Party)
What an intervention; very pessimistic. No, I do not accept that.
We have, moving into the arena, the European Marine Energy Centre Ltd and the Scottish European Green Energy Centre, which has already attracted more than €100 million. Many other key sectors are involved in the wholesale decarbonisation of businesses throughout Scotland, whether that is the food and drink sector, including the notable efforts by the Scotch Whisky Association, or what is happening in the built environment. Last week, I was at Heriot-Watt University to see what is being done to retrofit existing houses. We can see that, coming down the line through measures such as insulation and smart meters, there will be many more jobs and many households will be taken out of fuel poverty.
The evidence is that the current agenda is driving things forward and allowing Scotland to develop a national consensus and a determination to play a full role in developing the technologies, skills and expertise that are needed to build a really material low-carbon economy here. By building on international collaboration and existing relationships, we will position Scotland as the preferred and priority international destination for low-carbon investment.
That the Parliament acknowledges that Scotland is developing a national consensus and determination to play a full role in developing the technologies, skills and expertise to build a low carbon economy; welcomes the job opportunities associated with the further development of low carbon technologies, and notes that the net effect of these and other initiatives has been to position Scotland as a preferred international destination for low carbon investment.
Sarah Boyack (Edinburgh Central) (Lab): >I will highlight the part of our amendment that sets out the key areas in which we believe action is needed. The debate has to be about two things: first, how we make the most of Scotland's fantastic opportunities to produce low-carbon and environmentally friendly heat and power; and secondly, and just as important, how we use that heat and power more wisely.
The process of developing a consensus did not start in 2007. By the time the SNP came to power, we had moved from generating slightly more than 10 per cent of our electricity from renewables up to 30 per cent in 2007. That is a huge achievement. For the past three years, most of the emphasis and a huge amount of discussion has been on the thousands upon thousands of new green jobs that are waiting just round the corner. We have set ambitious carbon reduction targets for 2020 and beyond.
However, it still does not feel as though we have all the basics in place to deliver Scotland's full potential. We should not pretend that we have consensus on absolutely everything when we clearly do not. We need to tease out the issues among ourselves and with people outwith the Parliament. That is a constructive point—we do not all agree on everything, so let us not pretend that we do.