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Angus Robertson Encouraged to Reduce Foreign Travel, According to Government Report

Angus Robertson (Credits: Scottish Daily Express)

The Scottish Government‘s five-year cultural strategy report calls on SNP ministers, including the remarkable well-traveled Angus Robertson, to reduce their international flights to decrease carbon emissions.

The report scrutinizes the balance between international cultural engagement and environmental sustainability and suggests leveraging technology like Skype or Zoom for overseas communications and collaborations.

In the past year, Scottish ministers have embarked on numerous international journeys. External Affairs and Culture Secretary Angus Robertson has been particularly active, with trips to Brussels, Copenhagen, the USA, and China.

Humza Yousaf and Net Zero Secretary Mairi McAllan incurred over £6,000 in travel expenses for separate trips to Dubai for Cop28, highlighting Scotland’s efforts towards achieving net zero emissions.

Angus Robertson (Credits: Holyrood)

Tourism Minister Richard Lochhead also drew criticism for an £11,000 expenditure on a brief trip to Los Angeles, where his participation at the Space Economy Summit could have been virtual, according to critics.

The report emphasizes the contradiction between the necessity of international cultural activities and the urgency of meeting Scotland’s net zero emissions target by 2045. It acknowledges the challenge of balancing the benefits of artistic collaborations with the need to minimize environmental impact.

Proposals in the report’s consultation phase advocate reducing air travel, suggesting alternative, lower-carbon travel options, and adopting digital platforms for international cooperation. The aim is to align Scotland’s international activities with its environmental commitments through sustained partnerships and conscious travel choices.

Angus Robertson (Credits: Evening Standard)

The concluding remarks of the report underscore the commitment of the Scottish Government and public entities to explore and support environmentally sustainable approaches to international cultural engagement. It calls for careful consideration of environmental impacts versus the value of proposed activities.

In response to the report, Scottish Tory deputy spokesman Alexander Stewart criticized the SNP ministers for their extensive air travel, arguing that they should adhere to the guidelines outlined in their report.

Stewart highlighted the inconsistency between the ministers’ actions and the environmental directives they advocate, emphasizing the need for leadership by example, especially as Scotland strives to meet its climate objectives.

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