A PLAN to create a national investment bank in Scotland has taken a “significant step” after legislation was published to enable the move. The Scottish National Investment Bank (SNIB) Bill was introduced to Holyrood on Wednesday and grants the powers required to establish the bank. It is expected the bank, which will be a public limited company, will provide financing for businesses and important infrastructure projects in order to boost private sector investment. Ministers will be given the power to guide its strategic direction by setting missions that will address socio-economic challenges.
The National 28th Feb 2019 read more »
URGENT action must be taken to reduce emissions, Scottish Greens co-convener Patrick Harvie told Nicola Sturgeon, adding that the latest transport figures “make for grim reading”. Train and car use in Scotland has increased but the number of bus journeys has fallen, according to Transport Scotland statistics. At FMQs, Harvie said: “We’re all aware of the urgency of our environmental crisis, and the impatience people are expressing. From school strikes to climate scientists, nobody has looked at the February heatwave without recognising this is not normal. “We need to change the way we live, and do it urgently, and transport is one of the areas where the Government has been told it needs to do better.
The National 28th Feb 2019 read more »
It’s true that Scotland has had, and still has in reserve, massive fossil fuel wealth. Yet this new period of opportunity for Scotland’s independence movement coincides with a moment when the world has a tough but essential choice to make, between continuing to burn fossil fuels and watching the end of the stable climatic conditions that have made human life on Earth possible, or simply leaving the remaining gas and oil in the ground. Now in a sense, for any future independent Scotland, that choice should be easy. We are a nation with a unique and beautiful natural environment, visited by millions of tourists each year. We have exceptional potential in the field of renewable energy – wind, wave, tidal, and even solar – which could easily meet all of our needs, given serious investment. We even have companies which specialise in building and equipping the new renewable industries, although some are struggling because of a weak climate of government support for UK renewables, and intense international competition. And beyond that, we have – ever since the industrial revolution – an economic history of being lifted up and then discarded by each new wave of non-renewable energy, from coal to petroleum; a history that should motivate us to turn now to a future based on sustainable jobs and communities, created around sustainable local energy sources, that will last as long as tides flow and wind blows. Whether we can do it, though, remains an open question. If Scotland remains part of the UK, my guess is that – barring a political revolution at Westminster – we will remain both constrained in what we can do to develop our potential in renewables, and under strong pressure from lightly regulated multinational corporations to allow them to exploit our oil and gas in their own short-term interest. If Scotland chooses independence in the next few years, well then a real and vital political debate opens up, between those who would tend to mimic the current permissive attitude of the UK Government to big global energy corporations, those who want to pump the oil but use the proceeds to invest in a renewable future, and those who believe that an independent Scotland should wean itself off the black gold immediately, and turn its face towards a policy of global responsibility, environmental protection, and a truly inspiring future for the rising generation of Scots.
Scotsman 28th Feb 2019 read more »