Alex Salmond tells finance sector to back green

SCOTLAND'S financial services industry can help lead the country to a greener future, First Minister Alex Salmond will tell an Edinburgh audience tonight.

He will say the financial services sector has a key role in supporting the renewable energy projects of the future and compare the opportunities to those provided by North Sea oil.

Mr Salmond is also expected to talk about Scotland's economic prospects for 2010 and beyond.

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Speaking ahead of the lecture, he said: "Financial innovation has a significant role to play in the development of a low-carbon economy that encourages innovation, creates business opportunities, provides thousands of green jobs in Scotland, and helps us achieve global climate change goals."

The First Minister added: "A 'super-grid' across the North Sea, to allow renewable power from energy-rich Scotland and Scandinavia to be exported to the continent is exactly the kind of project where the Scottish financial sector can develop innovative instruments to support investment and opportunity – in the same way it helped underpin the development of the offshore oil and gas industry more than a generation ago."