Scotland can lead the transition to a renewable future - Lorna Slater

Minister for Green Skills, Circular Economy and Biodiversity, Lorna SlaterMinister for Green Skills, Circular Economy and Biodiversity, Lorna Slater
Minister for Green Skills, Circular Economy and Biodiversity, Lorna Slater
​Scotland is blessed with some of the best engineers and renewables workers in the world, many of them based right here in Edinburgh.

It’s an industry I know well. Before I was elected as an MSP I was a project manager in the sector. I worked in shipyards and factories across Scotland where I saw the huge potential that our country has to lead the renewables revolution.

With an abundance of resources that anyone would envy, Scotland is well placed to lead the change in the UK and beyond. But it won’t happen by itself. As I have seen first hand, it needs the fundamental support of governments and industry.

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We are starting to see the fruits of that support, with major momentum building behind green jobs and industry.

Claire MackClaire Mack
Claire Mack

Only this week we saw the publication of a groundbreaking new study by Fraser of Allander which underlined the scale of change. In 2021 alone, Scottish renewable jobs grew by more than 50 per cent, with massive growth in both onshore and offshore wind and home heating.

It came on the heels of a report by Skills Development Scotland that identified a £90 billion surge in planned green investment over the next three years, creating or securing 77,000 green jobs.

This is the just transition we need in action. These jobs aren’t only helping our environment, they are putting money in people’s pockets and changing our communities for the better.

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As Claire Mack, the Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables, has said "The renewable energy industry is the biggest economic opportunity we have in Scotland.”

That’s why people and planet must always go together, improving our environment while creating skilled jobs.

These are the efforts we need to see from every government. The COP28 climate conference underlined the huge gap between rhetoric and delivery on the world stage. In Scotland we are doing all we can to show what a small country can achieve and encourage others to do the same.

Working in the sector gave me a huge sense of personal pride and excitement to know that what we were doing was making such a positive contribution to our climate.

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I want even more people to experience that as we invest in jobs and a green economy that is worthy of the vast skills and talents we are so lucky to have here in Scotland.

There is a lot to be proud of, but we have no room for complacency. Our future can be so better than the fossil fuel powered one Westminster wants for us. I won’t stop until we establish Scotland’s role as a European leader for cleaner energy, greener jobs and a better future.

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