Land-based businesses in Scotland have welcomed new government plans to tackle climate change.
Following publication of the Scottish Government’s draft Climate Change Plan, Scottish Land & Estates said its members were ready to play their part reducing carbon emissions whilst facilitating peatland restoration and the creation of new woodland.
Anne Gray, Senior Policy Officer (Land Use & Environment) at Scottish Land & Estates, said: “The Scottish Government has steadfastly championed measures to tackle climate change and this latest refresh of their priorities and targets will be welcomed by landowners who are willing partners in offering practical solutions.
“Peatland restoration and woodland creation targets were two policies mentioned by the Cabinet Secretary and they are areas where land-based businesses have already been building momentum over the past decade.
“Ms Cunningham also highlighted that there are often business benefits to farming and land-based businesses from undertaking changes in practice which benefit the environment. This is of course true and farmers and landowners naturally welcome such changes. As we often highlight, to build this type of capacity in farming, information and advice services need to support such change in practice. There are also some situations where choices need to be made between productive agriculture and environmental benefits – win-wins cannot always be achieved. Where this is the case, farmers and landowners need to be supported financially to deliver the environmental option if this is judged to be the best use of that piece of land.
“In this respect, payment for ecosystems services approaches need to be further developed by government - and actively implemented.
“In short, co-operation, facilitation, advice and support are what Scotland’s rural businesses need to deliver for climate change. With a focus on these elements, landowners can make a substantial contribution to Scotland’s climate change plan and stand ready to work with government in this regard.”