From football to renewables: five ways Scotland is a world pioneer

 

FOOTBALL

A Scottish student became the first black football player to play at an international level 140 years ago.

Andrew Watson played three matches for Scotland between 1881 and 1882. He was the son of a rich Scottish sugar planter, Peter Miller Watson, and studied natural philosophy,  mathematics and engineering at the University of Glasgow.

He first played football for Maxwell in 1876 and then signed for Parkgrove, where he played alongside another black player Robert Walker.

He won the first of three caps for Scotland in March 1881, and he captained the Scottish side which defeated England 6-1

He signed for Queen’s Park – then Scotland’s largest football team – in April 1880 and became their secretary in November the following year.

He won the first of three caps for Scotland in March 1881, and he captained the Scottish side which defeated England 6-1. Can Scotland pull off a repeat performance today? It has been reported that there are plans to erect a statue of Andrew Watson outside Hampden.

THE LAW

Women were appointed to two of the most senior legal roles in Scotland for the first time this week.

MSPs confirmed the appointment of Dorothy Bain QC as the new Lord Advocate and Ruth Charteris QC was chosen as Scotland’s next solicitor general.

It is the first time women have held both roles at the same time. When she proposed the appointments at Holyrood this week First Minister Nicola Sturgeon underlined their historic nature.

 PERIOD POVERTY

In July 2017 Scotland became the first country in the world to provide free sanitary products to low-income women. An initial six-months trial was so successful the scheme was rolled out across the country.

MSPs unanimously passed the Period Products  (Free Provision) (Scotland) Act in November 2020. A survey in February 2019 showed that period poverty had afflicted more than a quarter of women in the UK.  Research revealed that 27% of women had at times been unable to afford sanitary products.

The problem had forced women to miss either work or school. The initiative was introduced after research by Women for Independence.

RENEWABLES

Scotland has become a world leader in renewable energy. It produced enough electricity from renewable sources to meet 97.4% of its needs in 2020, only narrowly missing the 100% target.

Wind turbines in Scotland produced enough energy in the first six months of 2019 alone to meet twice the country’s domestic requirements

Output has tripled over the past decade, producing enough power for the equivalent of seven million households.

Wind power is the fastest growing renewable energy technology and wind turbines in Scotland produced enough energy in the first six months of 2019 alone to meet twice the country’s domestic requirements.

Scotland possesses more than a quarter of the UK’s renewable energy generation and 90% of its hydropower.

CLIMATE CHANGE

All eyes will be on Glasgow in November, when the city will host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference.

A major TV, radio and digital campaign – Let’s Do Net Zero – has already been launched in Scotland to raise awareness of climate change and biodiversity loss.

Scotland is committed to reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045. The summit is one of a number of initiatives expected to benefit from Glasgow green energy projects worth £13m.

 

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