Policy & Lobbying
Climate Change
The Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 states that greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced by 80% by 2050 compared with a defined baseline, with an interim target of a 42% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. The rural sector has an opportunity to help achieve these targets through tree planting, moorland management and changing agricultural practices to become more targeted.

Policy Positions
  • Scottish Land & Estates believes that forestry has a significant role to play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions because trees are known to sequester carbon dioxide, as well as bringing a range of other benefits. Therefore, we support tree planting where it is appropriate.
  • Scotland’s peatlands are a significant carbon sink and are believed to hold 2.7 billion tonnes of carbon. Therefore, it is important that they are carefully managed in order to prevent this important sink from turning into a source of carbon. Scottish Land & Estates believes that this can be achieved by a variety of management practices including rotational muirburn in order to prevent the growth of long rank heather which carries a wildfire risk.
  • Scottish agriculture has long been recognised as a source of greenhouse gas emissions but Scottish Land & Estates believes that this situation can be reversed if land managers are innovative and adopt new practices such as using better targeting the application of fertilisers and carrying out energy audits to identify savings to help reduce consumption and their carbon footprint. They should also consider installing renewable energy technologies where appropriate.

    Climate Change News

    • 16/06/2015 - Minister Announces Peatlands Funding to Tackle Climate Change
      Updating Parliament on progress towards Scotland’s Climate Change targets Environment Minister, Dr Aileen McLeod, announced that in addition to £10million available through SRDP, there would be another £3million available for peatland restoration this year.  Operating more energy efficient homes and business and compu

    • 16/06/2015 - Deep Peat Practice Guide Launched
      A new practice guide for managing deep peatland which is already planted with trees has been published by Forestry Commission Scotland. Deep peat is soil with a peat layer greater than 50cm. For the full guide go to

    • 13/12/2013 - NVZ rules changes reminder - January 2014
      From January 1 members working within Scotland’s Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (NVZs) face regulation changes. The regulation changes coming into force in the New Year were announced back in May 2013, so this is a reminder to all members to ensure they understand

    • 20/10/2011 - Longannet Carbon Capture and Storage Project
      Commenting on the statement made on the 19 October 2011 by the Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change, Chris Huhne, that the Longannet Carbon Capture and Storage Project will not go ahead, First Minister Alex Salmond said: "This is a deeply disappointing announcement by the UK Government, and an enormous lost

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