A major conference on Carbon Accounting held at Heriot-Watt University demonstrated that Scotland is leading a new enlightenment in its approach to reducing our carbon footprint.
100 experts in the field from Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic, Europe and the rest of the UK joined Scottish specialists to discuss how carbon accounting systems from different sectors can be made compatible, correct and comprehensible for everyday use.
We believe that our approach to dealing with the complex issues involved will provide a blueprint for the rest of the world
Devising a uniform system for assessing carbon emissions
Sue comments: "Scotland, having published a carbon budget alongside its fiscal budget, is leading way in the field of reducing carbon emissions.
"We believe that our approach to dealing with the complex issues involved will provide a blueprint for the rest of the world. In order to have proper carbon accounting we need proper rules and guidelines, and that's what ICARB was set up to achieve.
"The Scottish Government has set the most stringent targets in the world for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This means that individuals and groups, from local authorities to companies and communities, all have to assess their own carbon budgets and plan for their own reductions. They can only do this if there is a uniform system for assessing carbon emissions, and that's what we're here to devise. In order to achieve this we need joined-up thinking, which is exactly what Scotland has shown it can achieve in this vital area."
The ICARB events are so important bringing together leading academics and practitioners in the field from across the globe
Helping to meet ambitious CO2 reduction targets
Speaking at the conference, Sarah Boyack, MSP for the Lothians and Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Rural Affairs & Climate Change said: "Scotland has set ambitious targets to reduce CO2 emissions but targets are meaningless without reliable and consistent methods of measuring and reporting progress. As well as being accurate and effective, such methods must also be transparent, allowing them to be scrutinised by industry, politicians and the public.
"We also need to see consistency across international borders to ensure that progress towards international agreements can be effectively measured.
"It is vital that we do not allow ourselves to consider climate change at a merely national level. Climate change does not respect national borders so agreement on measuring carbon across national boundaries is crucial. We can play our part in Scotland by promoting a low carbon path out of recession, but we need confidence we are on the right track.
"That's why the ICARB events are so important bringing together leading academics and practitioners in the field from across the globe."