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SCOTLAND is to lead the world in action to combat climate change, cutting carbon emissions by 80 per cent by 2050.
John Swinney, the Cabinet secretary for finance and sustainable growth, told the Scottish Parliament he was committed to an ambitious programme of cuts that would be an inspiration to the world and help to turn this country into "the green energy capital of Europe"....
Mr Swinney said the country was already feeling the effects of climate change "with, for example, increased frequency and intensity of rainfall"....
Cutting Scotland's carbon emissions by 80 per cent by 2050 will depend to a large extent on actions outwith the control of Holyrood.
John Swinney, whose responsibilities include sustainable growth, suggested insulation was a first step ordinary people could take.
An estimated 4.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide - about 10 per cent of total emissions in 2004 - could be saved if every house in the country had a full energy-efficiency makeover.
A host of wind farms coming on stream by 2020 should make big inroads in reducing emissions. At the current rate of progress, 54 per cent of Scotland's electricity could come from renewables by 2020.
By 2030, emissions could be cut by up to 70 per cent through new climate-friendly technologies. Green taxes and a more extensive European carbon-trading scheme could also be brought in, while capturing and storing in old gas and oilfields could be used to deal with emissions from fossil-fuel power stations.
By 2050, hydrogen produced from renewable sources or clean coal could account for about a quarter of total energy use, fuelling cars and providing homes with electricity. Biofuels would also be commonplace....
The SNP fought the Scottish election on an anti-nuclear platform and has formed a parliamentary alliance with the Greens.
I suppose when the lights go out they will come running south of the border looking for help - if you are in Scotland, buy a generator and stockpile some fuel, it looks like it is going to be a long cold winter soon as you are driven back to the stone age.