Scotland touts benefits of green economy

An independent Scotland will be set a global benchmark for renewables, minister says
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |   May 1, 2014 at 9:42 AM
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EDINBURGH, Scotland, May 1 (UPI) -- An independent Scotland will make its mark on the global stage by advancing one of the best low-carbon economies in the world, the environment secretary said.

Scottish Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead spelled out a series of benefits a low-carbon economy may bring to an independent Scotland. From moving away from nuclear power, to enshrining environmental protection in its constitution, Lochhead said the benefits of a low-carbon economy are clear.

"And an independent Scotland will show international leadership in tackling climate change, with a seat at the global top table enabling us to inspire and influence others to follow our ambition," he said in speech Wednesday at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.

The Scottish government aims to generate the equivalent of 100 percent of its annual electricity consumption through community- and locally-owned renewable energy resources by 2020.

Scotland holds a one-question referendum on independence from the United Kingdom later this year. Its government said it could support itself in part on oil and gas revenue while relying on renewable resources to power its economy.

The British government says a United Kingdom is best left united.

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