Jan. 22 (UPI) -- The opening of an $83 million fund to support low-carbon programs supports Scotland's "moral obligation" to address climate change, a minister said Monday.
Scottish Climate Change Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said a fund aimed at gaining an edge in low-carbon innovation is open for business.
"We have, first and foremost, a moral obligation to fight climate change," she said in a statement. "But for a nation with Scotland's resources and skills, the transition to a more prosperous, low carbon and circular economy also presents a valuable economic opportunity."
Scotland has one of the more robust low-carbon programs in the world and its government in 2015 ruled that natural gas derived from underground coal deposits would have no place in a greening economy. Ministers had already enacted a separate moratorium on unconventional oil and gas extraction methods, like hydraulic fracturing.
Cunningham said the government is trying to attract and retain low-carbon investments that she said would shape the future of the Scottish economy. Last week, the government said the Scottish economy grew by 0.2 percent during the third quarter, a slight improvement from the 0.1 percent in gross domestic product during second quarter 2017.
The services sector -- industries such as retail and hospitality -- accounted for 75 percent of the total Scottish economy last year. Total year-over-year growth for the third quarter was up 1.6 percent.
Transport Minister Humza Yousaf added that part of the low-carbon innovation is greener infrastructure.
"The Scottish government is committed to the introduction of a cleaner, greener transport network and ultra-low emission vehicle infrastructure is central to that," he said.
Scotland pegged its future during a failed 2014 bid for independence on revenue from oil and gas reserves in the North Sea. The shale division of British business group INEOS said last week it was petitioning for a judicial review of the Scottish decision to sideline onshore oil and gas work.