Keith Anderson, chief executive of energy giant ScottishPower, cannot speak highly enough of the young people who have taken to the streets to demand urgent action on climate change. “It is brilliant to see, so encouraging” he says from his new glass and steel Clydeside HQ. “I think it is phenomenally positive that so many youngsters are standing up and saying ‘you know, this is MY future. And I should have a say’.” These, after all, are not just protesters. They are Mr Anderson’s future customers, consumers ready to make big changes in how they live, in how they power their lives. The power executive is underlining a new alliance forming in the face of the climate emergency, between campaigners and capital. There is money to be made in saving the planet, lots of it. Mr Anderson has some simple messages: there is change coming to Scotland and the UK. That change is positive and it is going to start in Glasgow. “For Scotland to get to net zero carbon by 2045, Glasgow needs to take the lead. Glasgow is the biggest city and it is. ScottishPower’s home town,” Mr Anderson explains. “If we can get Glasgow to do this first, with all the challenges of a major city with its flats, then it shows the way for everybody else in Scotland and across the UK.” Mr Anderson jokes about beating Edinburgh, which has set a zero carbon date of 2037, but he is not being drawn on timetables. Nor can he give an exact figure for how much this is all going to cost. Billions? Probably, he acknowledges.
Herald 15th May 2019 read more »