11 SCOTLAND'S GLOBAL CONTRIBUTION
Bering Glacier in retreat
SCOTLAND, LIKE OTHER DEVELOPED COUNTRIES, IS USING AN UNFAIR AND UNSUSTAINABLE SHARE OF THE WORLD'S RESOURCES. THE ACTIONS AND COMMITMENTS IN THIS STRATEGY WILL HELP US TO REDUCE THE SIZE OF THAT FOOTPRINT
11.1 The goal of sustainable development is to enable all people throughout the world to satisfy their basic needs and enjoy a better quality of life without compromising the quality of life of future generations. This challenges us to think about the global as well as national consequences of development.
11.2 The basic needs of millions of people across the world are not being met. An estimated 852 million people were undernourished in 2001-02. Water scarcity affects over 1 billion people. The Executive is committed through its international development policy to working in partnership with the UK Government towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals which aim, for example, to:
- reduce by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water
- reduce by two thirds the mortality rate among children under five
- reduce by half the proportion of people living on less than a dollar a day.
11.3 There are profound injustices in the distribution of the environmental as well as social consequences of current patterns of consumption and development. It is the developed world for example that has been and still is responsible for most human-generated greenhouse gas emissions. Yet it is the poorest countries that are likely to be the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change.
11.4 We want to see a Scotland which:
- has reduced its own greenhouse gas emissions
- is reducing its ecological impact
- is contributing to the Millennium Development Goals.
REDUCING SCOTLAND'S GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS
11.5 Scotland strongly supports the UK Government in its efforts to promote international action to tackle greenhouse gas emissions, and as a responsible member of the international community is committed to playing its part through an equitable reduction in its own emissions. This represents a major challenge. The UK Government has set a goal of reducing the UK's carbon dioxide emissions, the main contributor to climate change, by 20% by 2010 and 60% by 2050.
WE WANT TO SEE A SCOTLAND WHICH:
- HAS REDUCED ITS OWN GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS
- IS REDUCING ITS ECOLOGICAL IMPACT
- IS CONTRIBUTING TO THE MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS
11.6 The Executive is fully committed to making an equitable reduction in emissions. The new Scottish Climate Change Programme will for the first time quantify this equitable reduction, or 'Scottish Share', in carbon terms. The Programme will demonstrate the extent to which the Executive has already met its commitment and its plans for continuing to do so. It will set a framework for delivery of the commitment over the remainder of the 20% target period, on the basis of a sectoral analysis of current greenhouse gas emissions and of carbon sinks (natural carbon storage).
11.7 We can all contribute to this reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Scotland's emissions come mainly from the fossil fuels (coal, gas, oil) that we use in our daily lives, to heat our homes, fuel our transport and generate our electricity. We need to use energy much more efficiently. As well as tackling climate change this will make our economy more productive. It is estimated that UK energy use could be reduced by more than 30% without compromising the benefits we derive from it. The Executive is developing and will publish early in 2006 an energy efficiency strategy to improve energy efficiency in the business, household and public sectors.
11.8 We must also get more of the energy that we need from renewable sources. This will help us reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The Executive has set ambitious targets that 18% of electricity generated in Scotland should come from renewable sources by 2010 and 40% by 2020, although these might well be exceeded. Progress towards these targets is being driven by the Renewables Obligation (Scotland), which obliges electricity suppliers to provide an increasing amount of their electricity supplied from eligible renewable sources.
11.9 A wide range of technologies will help us meet these targets. Onshore wind will make the major contribution over the next few years but technologies such as deep water offshore wind, wave power, tidal stream and biomass will become increasingly important as the years go on. The Executive is supporting these renewable energy technologies, working through the Forum for Renewable Energy Development Scotland ( FREDS) and in discussion with key stakeholder groups.
11.10 Renewable energy generation at a domestic or business level, for example from solar power or wood fuel heating, could make a substantive contribution to those targets. Carbon dioxide emissions can also be reduced by installing combined heat-and-power plants, which make use of the heat that is otherwise wasted in conventional electricity generation.
REDUCING SCOTLAND'S ECOLOGICAL IMPACT
11.11 As consumers we need to consider the social, economic and environmental consequences of the products that we buy. Many of us are familiar with the power of the Fair Trade movement to change the social and economic impact of our spending in other countries. We also need to think about the climate change consequences of the products we buy from overseas. Most of the goods that we purchase are now manufactured in other parts of the world. The energy use and greenhouse gas emissions might be generated overseas but still reflect our choices, with consequences across the globe.
11.12 Scotland, like other developed countries, is using an unfair and unsustainable share of the world's resources. The ecological footprint study mentioned earlier showed that if people across the world consumed resources at the same rate as us, we would need another three times more than this one planet can provide 19. The actions and commitments in this strategy will help us to reduce the size of that footprint.
The Dancing Ladies of Gigha
Image: Laura Petrie
In March 2002, the Gigha Heritage Trust, established by the community became the new owner of the Isle of Gigha with the support of, amongst others, the Scottish Land Fund. The Trust established a five-year development plan to regenerate the island including plans for sustainable housing and a wind farm.
Following their delivery the second-hand 'Dancing Ladies' - three wind turbines - were cleaned up by members of the community, erected, and on 15 December 2004 switched on.
The Gigha community now generates two thirds of its electricity requirements and is using part of the money generated by the wind farm to contribute to radical energy saving measures in the trust-owned housing stock. As Dr Eleanor Logan, Chief Executive, Isle of Gigha Heritage Trust puts it:
"The wind resource in Scotland is unparalleled and more communities should be able to tap into this. Gigha was able to capitalise on the available wind due to a combination of a unique financial package and the willingness and entrepreneurship of the community themselves."
11.13 We need to build on people's growing awareness of social and environmental concerns, and the influence they have as citizens and consumers. One approach is to use the ecological footprint as a tool for increasing understanding of unsustainable consumption and learning how to make more sustainable choices. The Executive will continue to support the work of WWF and partner organisations to roll out this footprint approach to local authorities and schools across Scotland.
11.14 As part of the broader communication, education and engagement strategy the Executive will work with the UK Government, NGOs, retailers and others to encourage informed public debate around the environmental and social consequences of the goods and services consumers buy, supporting initiatives such as Environment Direct, a proposed new consumer information service, which is expected to be launched across the UK in late 2006.
SCOTLAND'S CONTRIBUTION TO THE MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS
11.15 The Executive's international development policy 20 sets out the contribution that it can make in partnership with the UK Government towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. This includes action in three main areas:
- Support for developing countries, particularly through the development of NGOs. The Executive will assist the two-way exchange of knowledge and expertise between Scotland and developing countries. Assistance will be targeted through NGOs and other public bodies on specific development programmes with geographical and thematic focus, emphasizing the transfer of knowledge building on existing Scottish strengths.
- Assistance during times of international crises. The Executive will help those who take a lead in mobilising Scotland's response to international crises, stimulating fund raising through existing channels and improving the coordination of the Scottish contribution to relief efforts.
- Active consideration of the positive impact of Executive policies on the developing world. Increasing public awareness of the problems faced by developing countries and what Scotland can do to make a difference, for example through the school curriculum, public procurement and in the Executive's work to encourage corporate responsibility within business. These are considered further elsewhere in this document.
11.16 We need that increased understanding and awareness to help us make the link between these agendas: between the environment and international development and between our lifestyles and some of these big global challenges. Seventy-five percent of the world's poor live in rural communities who depend directly on natural systems for their livelihood - systems that are under pressure from consumer demand in other parts of the world. Africa contributes the least to climate change and has the least capacity to adapt, yet will still bear the brunt of extreme weather patterns leading to drought and deepening food shortages.
11.17 These are challenging and complex issues - but issues that people in Scotland have already demonstrated that they care passionately about. A key priority for the learning agenda in Scotland must be to help us understand the connections so we can play our part in building long-term, sustainable solutions.