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by Tom Freeman
06 February 2019
Nicola Sturgeon in the US: Joint climate change commitment with New Jersey

Nicola Sturgeon - Scottish Government

Nicola Sturgeon in the US: Joint climate change commitment with New Jersey

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has used her visit to the United States to sign a joint commitment to tackle climate change with the governor of the State of New Jersey.

Like Scotland, New Jersey is rapidly expanding its offshore wind generation.

Governor Phil Murphy said he hoped the state could learn from Scotland’s wind industry.

The pact to share experience and best practices follows a similar agreement with the state of California on Sturgeon’s previous visit in 2017.

Sturgeon said: “Climate change is a global problem and agreements like these, working in partnership with like-minded administrations, will help us tackle the harmful effects it has on the planet. I look forward to working with New Jersey as we work towards our shared ambitions.”

Governor Murphy said: “As New Jersey progresses on the path to 100 percent clean energy, we are grateful to partner with Scotland to tackle the issue of climate change head on.

“Scotland has a world-class offshore wind industry and we are looking forward to learning from them as we establish offshore wind farms in our state.”

Scottish Development International are co-funding a renewables specialist to build connections and opportunities for the Scottish renewable energy industry in the north east United States.

Sturgeon is in the USA and Canada this week on a trade visit, but also gave a speech at Georgetown University in Washington on Brexit and Scottish independence.

She told the university’s Institute for Women, Peace and Security that the UK’s approach to Brexit preparations was “genuinely astonishing” and called for a second referendum on EU membership.

“Amid the confusion and uncertainty of Brexit, one thing I think is clearer than ever. Scotland's national interests are not being served by a Westminster system which too often treats Scotland as an afterthought, or too often sees our interests as not being material,” she said.

In an interview with America’s PBS network, Sturgeon later said a second independence referendum couldn’t be held until voters had “clarity”.

“Brexit is a good example of what happens when people take, in some respects, an uninformed decision about a big change,” she said.

“And when people, as I believe they will in due course, opt for Scotland to be an independent country, that should be on the basis of a genuinely informed decision about all of the implications and consequences.”

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