Scottish news round-up: 5th December 2008

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Climate Change Bill launched today

The Scottish Government has published its Climate Change Bill, claiming that if passed, Scotland will have the most ambitious climate change legislation anywhere in the world. Stewart Stevenson further claimed that Scottish Minister had taken the ‘bold’ decision “to include all six Greenhouse gases and emissions from international aviation and shipping within an ambitious 80 per cent target.” The Minister also stated that target setting alone was not enough, and short, medium and long-term policies were being developed to ensure delivery. He said these options would be published in 2009. Speaking on Good Morning Scotland this morning about how the expansion of airports would fit into the plans, he said that aviation was an important part of the economy and there would be a benefit in expanding the number of direct routes from Scotland, particularly those that minimised the need for internal flights. Writing in today’s Herald, Malcolm Robertson of BAA Airports Ltd, argues that the view that high-speed rail should not be considered ‘any kind of substitute’ for new airport capacity.

Universities report predicts funding gap

A study published by Universities UK has warned that institutions in England could become larger and better funded than those in the rest of the UK. The report considers the impact of devolution on higher education and concludes that England had moved ahead in areas such as student numbers and research funding, compared to universities in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The report highlights concerns about the different tuition fee policies and calls for ministers from each of the four nations to communicate with each other better, and for a more equitable formula for funding universities across the UK.

News in brief

The Council of Economic Advisers first annual report sets out 22 recommendations and considerations for the Scottish Government.

Speaking at last night’s Green Energy Awards, Iain Gray pledged to double the Saltire Prize from £10m to £20m if he becomes First Minister by 2015.

Chancellor Alistair Darling will open the Construction Skills Academy in Glasgow today.

Quote of the day:

“Buyers are being sought for Heather Mills”

Yes, we did a double-take too, but rest assured that this story in today’s Herald relates to a struggling textile company in Selkirk rather than the former Mrs McCartney.

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