National strategy

Green action central to 10-year economic plan

Kate Forbes
Kate Forbes: developing a green hub

Building the green economy will form a central part of the Scottish government’s 10 year national strategy amid bubbling concern that the social and “fair work” agenda will dilute its impact.

Finance Secretary Kate Forbes is said to have conceded a number of policy objectives to satisfy the demands of the SNP’s government partners, the Scottish Greens.

The strategy will be announced after the unveiling of a new initiative on Monday that gives the financial and professional services sectors a key role in fulfilling climate change pledges made at last year’s COP26 summit.

Ms Forbes will join UN special envoy on climate action Mark Carney to launch a taskforce that implements the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero.

Chaired by David Pitt-Watson, a leading practitioner of responsible finance, the taskforce – managed by the Global Ethical Finance Initiative (GEFI) – will develop and lead an action plan.

Ms Forbes said: “I am looking forward to working with the taskforce to identify the next steps to develop Scotland into a leading hub for green and sustainable financial services.

Mark Carney: robust targets

“This taskforce will provide global leadership by implementing the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net-Zero in a way that supports our hugely successful financial service industry.”

She said a cornerstone of the national strategy “will be to ensure we are taking action now to build greener, more resilient and fairer economies. Initiatives like this will be key in delivering those ambitions.”  

Mr Carney, former governor of the Bank of England, said: “As we emerge from COP26 the focus must now be on converting net-zero commitments into transparent action plans with robust targets.

“That is why as chair of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero, I welcome the launch of this new taskforce. It presents a unique opportunity, at the national level, for stakeholders active in one of the world’s oldest financial centres to work together to demonstrate leadership in defining and implementing the steps required to align with a net-zero future.”

Mr Pitt Watson added: “Scotland has a long heritage of leadership in finance from the first public savings banks to the outstanding concentration of expertise in sustainable finance.

“The momentum and legacy of COP26 presents an opportunity to make Scotland globally competitive as a green and sustainable finance centre.”

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