I’M of the opinion that for governments it’s not a choice between tackling climate change and growing a successful economy. It’s perfectly possible, and indeed necessary, to do both. We need to build a legacy for future generations and keep our accounts in the black by becoming increasingly green.

Growth that harms our environment and exploits people for short-term profit is not the kind that Scotland wants or needs. That’s why I’m delighted with the inclusive, sustainable growth plans set out in the First Minister’s Programme for Government.

Nicola Sturgeon has ensured that the long-term future of Scotland’s economy will be built on sectors central to the protection of our environment.

It will be built through harnessing innovations in the renewable energy sector, and by using Scotland’s landscape – voted the most beautiful in the world by the Rough Guide – as a magnet for the growth of our tourism sector.

The quality of our food and drink produce, world renowned for the purity of its ingredients, the transformation of our transport sector towards renewable sources of power, and the ability of our creative industries to leverage on the heritage and global recognition of Brand Scotland are all investments for the future.

Simply put, Scotland’s environment is an engine for growth. A green engine for inclusive growth.

The intrinsic weaving of the environment into the economy of the future runs like a green thread through this programme. It is built on an understanding that Scotland needs to be bold, to lead in the global race to harness the green economy which will deliver future prosperity.

A great example is the investment in carbon capture and storage technology through support for the Acorn Project at St Fergus, picked up by the Scottish Government after it was abandoned by Westminster.

We’re also taking the lead in promoting the use of ultra-low emission vehicles, phasing out new diesel and petrol vehicles by 2032.

We’re not only providing the infrastructure that Scotland needs for low-emission vehicles, but supporting the innovative businesses that can develop and export that technology.

And while Brixton may have its Electric Avenue, we’re going to have the A9, our Electric Highway – move over Eddy Grant.

Also included is work on a universal basic income, which will have the effect of encouraging entrepreneurial activity. Because, like all good initiatives, this policy delivers in several core areas simultaneously. UBI isn’t just a social measure, vital though that is, but it also gives space and support to those who want a soft entry into the world of work or starting their own business. Those who want to try, and fail, and try again. The true definition of an entrepreneur.

Scotland’s future economic success will be built on the technologies and entrepreneurs of the future, and the place of the environment in that future economy cannot be overstated.