Response to Greta Thunberg: Scottish sustainability efforts should not be judged on government action alone

Date Published

2nd Sep 2021

Don McLean
Founder and Managing Director (CEO)

Greta Thunberg’s comments about Scotland perhaps not being the world leader it claims to be as proposals for a new oil field off the Shetland coast are considered are not unfounded, but they do discredit the excellent climate innovation work going on in the country by non-government businesses.

Glasgow, where COP26 is being hosted, has been awarded the status of Global Green City and is targeting carbon neutrality by 2030, while Edinburgh has bolstered its public transport offerings. Scottish businesses from whiskey distillers to technology firms, like IES, are innovating to reduce emissions for themselves and their clients and are leading the way while doing so.

This highlights that while the government may not be doing enough, businesses within the country are, so these trailblazers need to be uplifted. By focusing its attention on strengthening the firms that are already making a significant, positive impact on the environment rather than being sidetracked by plans for new oil fields and coal mines, the government could continue to build the country’s green credentials while supporting local businesses and creating jobs within the green economy, rather than the fossil fuel industries.

It also should not be forgotten that Scotland’s net zero target is set for 2045, putting us half a decade ahead of the rest of the UK and many other countries across the world, which are aiming for net zero by 2050.

This comment was published in today's Herald:

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