Some 10,000 jobs for people with approved electrical qualifications and plumbing skills could be created if the Scottish government was to invest in its energy efficiency targets.

The carbon reduction goal set out by the government is 42 per cent by 2020 and the Association for the Conservation of Energy (Ace) believes that achieving this could provide jobs for many qualified plumbers and electricians.

"Not only could we have warm homes without a warming planet, we could create green-collar jobs and boost the low-carbon economy at the same time," explained Chas Booth, co-author of the Ace report.

However, he stressed that increased levels of investment would be needed in order for Scotland to meet its energy efficiency goals.

Tradesmen who have completed plumbing courses and who have electrical qualifications would be needed to install 1.5 million insulation packages, 1.5 million energy-efficient boilers and 1.8 million solar panels, it concluded.

Last October, the Committee on Climate Change put forward a carbon reduction target of 80 per cent by 2050 for the whole of the UK. It also stressed the need to end the use of fossil fuels almost completely.

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