Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has talked about James Watt and his legacy during a speech in the United States.
The FM admitted that Scotland was, “in so many ways”, the country that led the world into the industrial age. “It would be fitting if we could now help to lead the world into a carbon-neutral age,” she said.
In her speech at Georgetown University in Washington DC, Ms Sturgeon reflected on Scottish achievements past and present.
“We already generate 70 per cent of our gross electricity demand from renewable energy. And we have a target to reach 100 per cent by the end of next year.
“We have also set a target of removing the need for new diesel and petrol cars by 2032.”
She continued: “I know that President Obama gave a major speech on climate change here at Georgetown back in 2016. And he argued, among other things, that inaction in the face of climate change showed ‘a lack of faith in American business and American ingenuity’. And what he was doing then was appealing to an American tradition that really resonates in Scotland.
“Scotland is famous for a range of innovations ranging from the television and the telephone to penicillin and beta blockers. We modestly and humbly claim in Scotland that we literally invented the modern world – we don’t like to boast.
“This year we are marking the bicentenary of the death of James Watt – the man whose improvements to the steam engine were fundamental to the industrial revolution. It’s a reminder that Scotland was in so many ways the country that led the world into the industrial age. So it would be fitting if we could now help to lead the world into a carbon-neutral age.”
SEE THE SPEECH IN FULL
The reference to Watt is around 28 minutes into the speech.