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DURING First Minister’s Questions on 10 October Alex Salmond claimed that the “estimated wholesale asset value” of Scotland’s oil reserves was “£1.5 trillion over the next 40 years”.

He omitted to say, however, that the value of this asset will be seriously eroded if governments around the world, including his own, implement the policies required to address climate change.

It has been estimated that as much as 80 per cent of known fossil-fuel reserves will have to remain in the ground for us to stand any chance of keeping the increase in global temperature within an acceptable 2C limit by 2100.

There appears to be a fundamental inconsistency here between the Scottish Government’s pioneering role in “climate justice” and its vision of an independent Scotland prospering from unconstrained exploitation of its fossil-fuel resources. 

(Prof) Alan McKinnon 

Kuehne Logistics University 

Hamburg, Germany

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