Scottish Government is pleased to commit £17 million of funding towards the creation of Scotland’s international environment centre through the Stirling and Clackmannanshire city region deal. The centre will provide an integrated approach to cutting-edge research, innovation and skills development to tackle global environmental challenges. It aims to transform the relationship between environmental management and business in order that the protection and enhancement of natural resources becomes a driver of clean, inclusive growth. In the first phase of the programme, the Forth Valley environmental resilience array, which is part of the international environment centre, will create a regional-scale living laboratory to enable business innovation in low-emission sustainable technologies, products and services.
The cabinet secretary is correct in saying that £17 million of investment will be made in my constituency as part of the Stirling and Clackmannanshire city region deal and the environment centre. It will also provide the best possible conditions and infrastructure for businesses to flourish and ensure a cleaner, greener and healthier environment for future generations. Does the cabinet secretary agree that the 26th conference of the parties—COP26—is a fantastic opportunity for the environment centre to demonstrate Scotland’s global leadership in responding to the climate emergency?
COP26 is, indeed, a fantastic opportunity to showcase to the world the world-leading climate action that Scotland is already taking across all sectors, as well as providing a platform on which to demonstrate our place in the world through our innovation and international partnerships. I am delighted that so many companies, groups and individuals are looking to engage with COP26.
Although I understand that construction of the SEIC has been delayed due to the impact of Covid-19, the completed SEIC will bring together scientists, policy experts and businesses in a state-of-the-art hub that will be an integral part of Scotland’s journey to net zero. We will explore how it can best support our COP26 programme and demonstrate that global leadership.