SCOTLAND’S efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are laudable and it’s great that we can set an example to other countries.

However, the impact that our small country is having on the problem of global warming is like pissing into a hurricane.

In the 1990s, the US and China regularly topped the list of coal producers with about one billion annual tonnes each. The US has since dropped back, due to increased gas availability.

China, however, has seen coal production rise to a horrific 3bn tonnes and its consumption is higher still, when imports are added. Australia now produces more coal than the United Kingdom ever did, on the back of demand mainly from China and the rest of Asia.

When climate change activists applaud the closure of yet another UK-based coal/gas consumer, I groan at the thought of a similar sized unit taking its place in the far-east where environmental control standards are either more lax than here or simply not enforced.

Consider, too, that every item we import from China is transported here by ship, plane and rail/road, using fossil fuels.

It seems that, by delegating manufacturing to the far-east, we have abrogated our responsibility for the environment. We mustn’t blame the Chinese or Indians. It’s our own fault.

So-called “free trade” is killing the planet; and, although president Trump is a climate change denier, his tariff war with China may potentially reduce emissions. If this eventually leads to a major worldwide recession; sadly, that arguably is what the planet needs.

In 2017, the International Energy Agency (IEA) projected that for the period 2016-2040, primary energy demand in Europe would fall by 200 million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe). Japan and the US were projected to reduce by 50 Mtoe and 30 Mtoe respectively.

The IEA projects the rest of the world to increase demand by more than 3500 Mtoe, of which China and India contribute increased demand of 790 Mtoe and 1005 Mtoe respectively, while total world demand in 2040 is projected to around 17,000 Mtoe.

Fossil fuel consumption worldwide is forecast to continue growing until around 2030, when it will account for more than two thirds of total energy – even though wind and solar usage will have more than doubled from the present day.

Only after 2030 is wind and solar projected to significantly depress consumption of fossil fuels, but, even as far out as 2050, fossil fuels are projected to account for more than 50% of total world energy consumption.

This climate change emergency needs immediate action.

I would recommend that Scotland secures Chinese and Indian finance to help develop existing and planned tidal/wave power projects, with a view to the sharing of all current and future technology.

If that means treading on reserved powers, then we should put on our heaviest boots and/or go for indyref2 at the earliest opportunity.

Given that the vast majority of energy usage worldwide is on or close to coastal sites; the fast-tracking of tidal/wave energy projects is eminently sensible, pending fusion power being more than a dream.

Alan Adair