Climate Change

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament at 3:51 pm on 28th May 2008.

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Photo of Rob Gibson Rob Gibson Scottish National Party 3:51 pm, 28th May 2008

One good thing to learn as we go along—which I hope the member will learn also—is that, in government, we have been able to measure many things that were not measured by the previous Government. We are now tackling the issue and we are looking for the help of other parties.

As individuals going about that education process, we should note the little exercise that was undertaken by the five members of the Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change Committee who visited London and Brussels at the end of February. As part of its coverage, Holyrood magazine did a carbon footprint study of our voyage, which showed that by going by train, Eurostar and Superfast ferry our CO2 emissions totalled 156kg, whereas if we had gone by air from Edinburgh to London, from London to Brussels and from Brussels to Edinburgh, the figure would have been 475kg. In the argument that we are having about individual carbon accounts, such information must be easily available in an educational form, so that people can see how they are contributing to climate change and how they must change their behaviour to mitigate the effects.

I agree strongly with Scottish and Southern Energy that it is high time we started delivering on our energy potential. Given that Scotland has 25 per cent of Europe's wind potential, we have a great opportunity not only to meet our own needs but to export energy to places that do not have such resources. In that respect, this week's hooking up to the grid of the tidal power machinery at Eday on Orkney is a fantastic step forward. Tidal power, which is available to us every day of the year, will become an increasingly important part of the equation.

We must reach the stage of being able to deliver power from such sources throughout Scotland so that every part of the country can play its part in generating more clean power. I ask the minister to address my points about education, accountability and delivery when he sums up.