One interesting aside to recent discussions on the latest export figures for Scotland is the links between exports and emissions.
On the one hand, the Scottish Government are committed to growing Scotland’s international presence through boosting exports.
But as we showed in a companion blog, any realistic attempt to boost exports is likely to require a major shift in manufactured goods.
Exporting services is tricky to do. Firstly, because not all services are simply exportable (think of haircuts or buying a dinner in your favourite restaurant). Secondly, because those services that in theory are exportable – such as banking and professional services – run up against significant barriers in the form of different country-specific laws, tax systems and regulatory regimes.
But boosting manufactured goods and shipping them overseas – all else remaining equal – is likely to raise Scotland’s CO2 emissions.