ECCI Comment: Smith report proves it's time for joined up thinking on carbon

12 December 2014

Sharing ideas and solutions is the new agenda, says Andy Kerr

As we approach the end of an extraordinary year in Scottish history, it is important to ask: what now? The Smith Commission has laid out plans for creating a more durable and responsive settlement of powers between London and Edinburgh. Our new First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has signalled a programme of legislation which, if not a change in direction, certainly provides a change of emphasis. With next year’s UK general election looming, we wait to see whether the vibrant engagement about the nature and future of this country, seen during the independence referendum, will continue.

At our most recent “Carbon Chat Room” discussion forum, members of the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation (ECCI) were invited to explore this issue of: what next? Given our goals and remit, it is perhaps not surprising that high on the list for next steps were: better support for innovation; better sharing of knowledge of practical solutions to problems; and improving learning and skills. But they speak to the wider question in Scotland of how do we make this small, remarkable country of ours a better place to live and work? If we remember that innovation is best thought of as turning new ideas into practice, then we are in the midst of a period of unprecedented political and social innovation.

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