Scotland is a world leader

By , 15/07/18

Scotland is a progressive nation, brimming with innovation and confident of its role in the world. Today, Scotland is at the forefront of tackling some of the biggest issues of the 21st century.

 

Here are just eleven ways that Scotland is leading the world.

 

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Scotland is on track to meet the most ambitious climate change targets in the world. And we’re set to legislate for new targets that are even tougher.

 

Our performance on reducing greenhouse gas emissions has been the best in the UK and better than every country in Western Europe except Sweden.

 

In March 2016 the then UN Climate Change Secretary, Christiana Figueres, said that Scotland’s progress on climate change had been “very exemplary to the world”.

 

We have now published a Climate Change Bill that will set a new statutory target for a 90 per cent reduction by 2050, moving to a net-zero emissions target as soon as possible. Read more here about how we are protecting the environment and tackling climate change.

 

 

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Scotland was the first country in the world to set up a Climate Justice Fund.

 

We believe that developed countries who have contributed the most to climate change have an obligation to support the poorest countries that are feeling it’s greatest effects.

 

That’s why we launched the Climate Justice Fund 2012 with former Irish President and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson.

 

By 2021, £21 million will have been distributed through the world-leading Climate Justice Fund, helping the world’s poorest communities adapt to the challenges of climate change.

 

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Scotland’s universities are amongst the best in the world.

 

Scotland has more universities in the top 200 per head of population than any other country except Luxembourg.

 

Our universities punch above their weight on research too. Scotland's higher education research and development spend as a percentage is GDP is the fifth highest in the developed world.

 

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We are showing global leadership in peacekeeping and conflict resolution.

 

We’re committed to training at least 50 women every year from international conflict zones in prevention and resolution of conflict. And we are expanding our programme to include South Asia, South and Central America and sub-Saharan Africa.

 

This follows the successful Syrian Women’s Advisory Board, which was established by the Scottish Government and supported by the UN Special Envoy to Syria. The Board helped supported the ongoing Syrian peace process by ensuring that the voices of women are heard.

 

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Our renewables sector is at the cutting edge of low-carbon technology development.

 

Scotland was amongst the first countries in the world to harness electricity from its waters, through the ambitious hydro building programme in the 1950s and 1960s.  

 

Today we lead the way on tidal energy. Scotland is home to the world’s first large-scale tidal energy farm, which has been supported by £23 million of Scottish Government funding.

 

Overall, Scotland has exceeded its target to produce 50 per cent of its electricity from renewables – helping to fight climate change and create jobs too. In fact, more than two-thirds of the electricity used in Scotland in 2017 came from renewables.

 

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Scotland has been named one of the world’s top circular economy nations - in recognition of our work to keep precious resources in use for as long as possible.

 

The Scottish Government, and its agencies, won the Award for Circular Economy Governments, Cities and Regions at the World Economic Forum summit at Davos in 2017.

 

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Scotland’s reputation as a leader in science and medicine stretches back centuries - from the discovery of penicillin to the development of the ultrasound scanner.

 

The life sciences sector now employs 37,000 people in Scotland - and company turnover in the industry grew by a massive 29 per cent between 2010 and 2014.

 

Scotland is also leading the way in emerging markets. For example, Glasgow build more satellites than any other city in Europe.

 

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Scotland has been recognised, by ILGA-Europe, as second only to Malta in Europe on LGBTI equality.

 

We have passed historic same-sex marriage legislation, which is recognised by many as being amongst the most progressive in the world.

 

 

And we are committed to reviewing and reforming gender recognition law, so that it’s in line with international best practice for people who are Transgender or Intersex.

 

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Computer games developed in Scotland are played by millions of people around the world.

 

The latest version of Grand Theft Auto, developed in Scotland, has now sold 90 million copies worldwide and was the fastest-selling entertainment product in history.

 

Abertay University in Dundee was the first university in the world to offer taught courses in games programming and artwork - and their courses are ranked the best in Europe.

 

And the number of companies in the computer game sector in Scotland surged by 27 per cent in 2016-17.

 

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Scotland is home to the world’s biggest arts festival, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

 

Edinburgh’s festivals have a combined audience of 4.5 million – making them as big as the world cup. Overall, the economic benefit to Scotland was estimated to be an incredible £313 million in 2015.

 

And we’ll ensure the festivals remain the biggest and best with a £10 million funding boost over the next five years.

 

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Scotland is the first country in the world to introduce Minimum Unit Pricing for alcohol.

 

Scotland has a proud history of taking decisive action on public health. Now, to tackle alcohol misuse, we’ve introduced Minimum Unit Pricing. This life saving policy could lead to 121 fewer deaths due to alcohol misuse every year after 20 years.

 

In recognition of Scotland’s bold and innovative public health policies, like alcohol misuse and obesity, Nicola Sturgeon has been appointed to a new global health Task Force, chaired by former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg and US Treasury Secretary Lawrence H. Summers.

 

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