“The prizes in terms of turning farming into a low emissions sector are significant, and necessary, to meet Scotland’s climate change targets. The challenge is to ensure food production can operate at a sufficient scale and quality to make the sector financially, as well as environmentally, sustainable.”
A no-brainer ahead of #COP26: “The UK’s buildings account for 17% of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. Making them more energy efficient could cover 34% of the emission cuts needed in the sector by 2030. It would also increase GDP by nearly £1.3bn (0.07%) a year, and create 22,545 new full-time jobs across the UK economy.”
“..whilst natural resources from coal to oil and gas to wind and tidal have been pivotal to recent Scottish history, we have to understand them in terms of their constitutive role in human social relations. These themes will become only more pivotal as the energy future dominates political discussion and the urgency for socially just climate action continues to grow.”
‘Research estimates that by 2025, the IT industry could use 20% of all electricity produced and emit up to 5.5% of the world’s carbon emissions. That’s more than most countries’ total emissions bar China, India and the US’: the case for an internet powered by renewables.
“Scotland should also develop its own niche areas of expertise, starting with the gamut of environmental issues related to climate change. Indeed, the aim for the coming years should be: ‘Scotland – the Green Capital of Europe.’”
“And herein lies the rub with Scotland’s supposedly “radical” land reform journey. The measures so far have not transformed the big picture: some have merely dragged Scotland’s anachronistic land laws into the 20th century as the rest of the world has entered the 21st. Most changes have worked within the old paradigm, treading carefully—maybe even neurotically—around established property rights.”
‘We end a year of sadness and sorrow with hope that 2021 will raise the overall level of ambition in Scotland, not just in terms of defeating the virus, but of paving the way for a society and economy that give the people a greater sense of belonging and sharing, that may act as a model beyond its borders, promote fairness and justice in international relations and help save the planet.’
‘The most deprived communities have faced an eight times greater loss of allotments when compared to the least deprived. This is a loss of the ability to grow food in areas where communities are most at risk from not having enough food.’
‘To say that the SNP should now revisit its economic plan for independence is therefore in keeping with the times we are in. My call for a radical rethink is not a challenge for the leadership, nor is it a challenge to the leadership. This new situation is a challenge for all of us and a challenge for our party as a whole.’
‘Decarbonisation should be promoted and adopted as a national mission (for Scotland),’ says the author, but this requires a change of institutional mind-set to deliver the full benefits of a net-zero carbon economy. (Part 2 of 2).