Scotland to work with UN
Scotland’s ‘deep commitment' to sustainable energy has been praised by UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon as he issued an invitation from the United Nations for Scotland to deepen its international engagement on their sustainable energy agenda.
In a letter to the First Minister, the Secretary General acknowledged Scotland is in an ‘excellent position’ to play a leading role in shared efforts to find lasting solutions to the world’s pressing energy challenges.
On the eve of his attendance at next week’s UN Summit on Sustainable Development in Rio, Minister for Environment and Climate Change Stewart Stevenson has reiterated Scotland’s commitment to ensuring it contributes to the collective efforts of the UN, private commerce, and governments to bring about improved standards of sustainable energy across the world.
The UN has declared 2012 its year of Sustainable Energy for All, which aims to ensure universal access to modern energy services, to double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency, and to double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.
Highlighting the economic and moral case for pursing a low carbon future for energy and wider development needs, Mr Stevenson will undertake a series of events in Rio next week, setting out the clear relationship between Scotland’s ambitious climate change and renewables programme with the objectives of the UN’s sustainable energy initiative, pledging the Scottish Government’s support in helping achieve its aims of energy equality and climate justice.
Mr Stevenson said:
"Scotland is playing its part in tackling climate change and we are delighted to accept the Secretary General’s invitation to deepen Scotland’s engagement with the United Nations on their sustainable energy agenda.
"Scotland has already taken the lead with our ambitious climate change legislation, low carbon energy programme and leading research and development base, as well as our innovative climate justice fund. We are continuing to demonstrate that leadership to governments and commerce alike on international platforms through the EU and the UN where our strong example can inspire other nations to equally ambitious action.
"Scotland recognises the urgency of addressing climate change and is an active partner in the common desire to create a sustainable future
"We must find durable solutions to the world’s energy and climate challenges and governments, the private sector, NGOs and individuals need to work together on a global scale to find them.
"The UN will have a key role in this, but individual governments must play their part, and Scotland’s targets are one way we are doing this.
"Developed countries have a moral obligation to help developing countries tackle climate change and energy inequality, and Scotland is already doing what it can, for example our support for work in Malawi and our recently launched climate justice fund which has received overwhelming support from Scottish civic society.
"Scotland has a valuable contribution to make – that is the message I will take to Rio and I look forward to a deeper partnership with the UN as we work together for an equitable and sustainable future."
Mr Stevenson will form part of the UK Delegation to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, and will have a full programme of events including: The Climate Group Clean Revolution Summit, the World Summit of States and Regions hosted by Governor Cabral of Rio State, meetings with other delegations from around the world and key stakeholder organisations.
In following-up the dialogue with the UN, Scottish Ministers have written to the Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Strategic Planning, Robert Orr, to begin work on developing the detail of further engagement.
Scotland has statutory emissions targets in the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009, passed with the unanimous support of the Scottish Parliament, to reduce Scotland’s greenhouse gasses by 80 per cent by 2050, and by at least a 42 per cent by 2020 (compared to a 1990 base).