Our work as part of the Global Environmental Measurement and Monitoring Group

On Friday, we hosted the second Global Environmental Measurement and Monitoring (GEMM) Network at Strathclyde.

GEMM is a network of scientists, engineers, economists, lawyers and policymakers who are all seeking to better understand how changes in our environment will impact our economy and society.

The initiative was established by Strathclyde in partnership with The Optical Society (OSA) and the University of Stanford’s Stanford Photonics Research Center. The first meeting took place in Stanford in 2018.

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September 16, 2019

Scotland’s climate emergency

This blog was written by Anna Maclean, a 6th year high school pupil, who was at the Fraser of Allander Institute for two week’s work experience.

In April, the Scottish Government declared a climate emergency after Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced how much she had been inspired by young protesters who went on strike to urge action.

Climate change has long been on agenda in Scotland. In 2009, the Scottish Parliament passed a ground-breaking Climate Change Act which legally bound the government to reduce emissions by 80% by 2050 from the baseline year (1990).

This has now been strengthened to achieving net zero emissions by 2045 – five years ahead of the UK.

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September 13, 2019

What could “no-deal” mean for the Scottish Economy?

Three years ago, we launched this blog shortly after the EU referendum.

Since then, we’ve tracked the performance of the Scottish economy through a period of unprecedented uncertainty.

Back in 2016, virtually no one – apart from a small number on the fringes of the debate – was even prepared to consider the prospects the UK leaving the EU without a deal. A smooth exit, a new relationship with the EU and the prospect of new trade deals was supposedly going to be straightforward.

Jump forward to today and the prospects of a ‘no deal’ outcome remains a distinct possibility. The hard-work on agreeing any future trade deal has yet to even start.

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September 9, 2019

Spending Round 2019: what does it mean for the Scottish budget?

As had been widely expected, UK Chancellor Sajid Javid used today’s Spending Round to announce significant increases in UK Government resource spending – to fund day-to-day public services – in 2020/21.

The announcements amount to an additional £12bn of resource spending next year relative to the plans that his predecessor Phillip Hammond had already pencilled in. This including a substantial uplift to schools spending (£2.6bn), extra resources for social care (£1bn), and for the police (£750m).

Of course these figures relate to spending in England. But the increases in spending in England will generate an uplift to the Scottish block grant, via the Barnett Formula.Continue reading

September 4, 2019

Spending Review 2019: how might it affect the Scottish Budget?

Wednesday’s Spending Review will influence the size of the Scottish budget in 2020/21. But it is just one piece of the jigsaw – with the other pieces not becoming available until later in the year.

In normal times, the publication of a UK Government Spending Review would be a major moment in the political and public finance annual calendar. This week’s Spending Review however will be overshadowed by the ongoing mess that is the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

But the Spending Review is important, and it will set out departmental spending limits for 2020/21 in key areas of the NHS, education, defence and other public services. However, the government’s previous aspirations to deliver a multi-year spending review have been jettisoned given ongoing uncertainty over Brexit.

The Spending Review will of course also have important implications for next year’s Scottish budget which Derek Mackay will present to parliament later on this autumn – most likely in December. The setting of departmental spending limits for UK departments will determine the size of the Scottish block grant.Continue reading

September 3, 2019