Jack just scrapes in under the wire again –
It’s been quite a couple of weeks for Scotland and Glasgow in particular with COP26.
I wanted to focus particularly on the Scottish aspect, how it has benefited and what it has contributed.
A few months ago the UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson said he didn’t mind a few saltires (the Scottish flag), but he didn’t want Nicola Sturgeon (the First Minister of Scotland) anywhere near COP26. This was rather strange, not only because it was taking place in Scotland, but because the nation is leading the world in the use of renewable energy.
In the end they seem to have agreed to back off from any confrontation and Nicola was pictured shaking hands with President Biden and accepting a gift from him. She also gave a significant speech and was introduced by Nancy Pelosi. Before that she met with youth leaders including Greta Thunberg.
But let’s get to what is happening –
The Scottish parliament voting system was deliberately designed to avoid any one party having an overall majority. In the last election in May this year the Scottish National Party was just one short, so entered into a semi-coalition with the Scottish Green Party who had eight elected. This has pushed the SNP Government (politically centrist) in a more environmental direction.
Here are some significant Scottish achievements and targets –
- Already producing almost all domestic electrical supply from renewable sources.
- All coal fired power stations closed.
- No new nuclear powered stations allowed
- No fracking allowed.
- Target set to reduce vehicle mileage per year.
- Target set to increase rail and bus usage per year.
- Target set for big expansion of electric vehicle charging points.
- A managed shift away from North Sea oil and gas dependence.
A quick reminder – The UK (The United Kingdom) consists of two nations – Scotland and England, a principality – Wales, and a province – Northern Ireland. Wales was annexed by England in the 13C, and N. Ireland was created in the 1920s when the rest of Ireland gained independence as a republic. Scotland and England signed a treaty in 1707 joining the two nations under one parliament, but with continuing separate legal, educational and Church systems up to the present. The Scottish parliament was reconvened in 1999 but the UK parliament is supreme and can over-ride anything that they legislate on.