The First Minister's Official Spokesperson (FMOS) welcomed journalists to the briefing.
The First Minister is addressing TEDGlobal 2012, announcing that Scotland is to help Malawi build a renewable energy policy, which will address climate change and put Malawi on the path to ‘green growth’. With 93 per cent of the Malawian population not having access to electricity, Scottish Government policy energy and climate officials will be seconded to Malawi to help them with this initiative – extending access to electricity in a sustainable way that does not add to carbon emissions.
When asked what benefits Scotland will get out of this initiative, the FMOS replied that it enhances Scotland’s global reputation on climate change, and develops on what the First Minister said in China about the need to ensure climate justice.
When asked if the £1.7 million was new money from the International Development Fund in Scotland, said the £1.7 million was announced in April.
Asked if there was a value on the secondments, the FMOS said she would find out and come back to them.
Finance Secretary John Swinney has announced a £105 million package of economic stimulus which, this year, will maximise opportunities to create jobs and growth. The FMOS noted that the money will come from a mixture of prudent financial management, previous underspend and accelerated funding through the fossil fuel levy.
When asked if this money was all new money available to spend now, the FMOS replied that, as indicated, the money would be available this year.
Asked if there was information available on any potential jobs created or safeguarded, the FMOS said that this information may become available later and noted that there may be more detail on future planning in the Autumn Budget Statement.
The FMOS noted that Mr Swinney had reiterated that by accelerating the capital investment, Scotland is taking action where Westminster has failed to do so.
Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead will today launch an innovative programme to encourage people to save money by wasting less and reusing more. Mr Lochhead will make the announcement while visiting the Famous Grouse bottling plant, where they are producing a new lightweight bottle to save on resources
The FMOS highlighted that the consultation had business-focused proposals which aim to tap into the estimated potential to save up to 1. 4 billion pounds per year by using raw materials more efficiently and cutting waste.
Public Health Minister Michael Matheson has confirmed there will be a Food Standards body in Scotland. This is a result of the UK Government’s decision to move the responsibility for nutrition and food labelling in England from the Food Standards Agency to the Department of Health and the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in 2010.
When asked if there was an estimation of how much it would cost to set up a new body, the FMOS referred the journalist to the comms desk.
Asked if this could open up the possibility of having different food labelling rules in Scotland, the FMOS replied that this could potentially be the case.
Asked about costs of the agency, the FMSA confirmed that Scotland already has a Food Standards Agency, based in Aberdeen.