Rural and Environment

In the news: Land use report

January 23, 2020 by No Comments | Category Agriculture, Climate Change, food and drink

You may have seen coverage in the media around the UK Committee on Climate Change’s latest report into Land Use.

The report states that land use must change to meet the UK’s net zero target. Although it is possible to reduce the emission of Greenhouse Gases in ways that are consistent with other strategic priorities for land – such as food production and biodiversity – the current UK & Devolved Administration policy frameworks for food production, forestry, and environment will not achieve the net zero target and must change significantly.

The Scottish Government’s response is below.

Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said:

“The Scottish Government welcomes the breadth and depth of the CCC’s report, confirming, as it does, that we were right to declare a global climate emergency last year.

“We strongly agree that Scotland’s land and the manner in which we use and manage it will be key in meeting Scotland’s and the UK’s net zero targets.

“Our Programme for Government has already set out steps we are taking to respond to the climate emergency head on, including significantly increasing tree planting levels, restoring peatland, promoting low carbon agricultural practices, developing guidance to encourage more people to consume more sustainable healthy locally produced food and establishing a New Green Deal for Scotland, which will deliver billions of investment to our net zero future and position Scotland to take advantage of a green economy.

“Furthermore the Scottish Government will shortly update our current climate change plan to reflect the increased ambition required by the global climate emergency and our world leading statutory emissions reduction targets.

“This report highlights the challenges that await us, but they are challenges we will not, and must not, shy away from. We can reduce our emissions, become a driver of innovation and provide support to our communities to navigate these changes. But it also highlights the opportunity to create a low carbon economy and manage our land sustainably to benefit future generations.

“We have been clear that our farmers, food producers and land managers are part of the solution to addressing climate change. However, make no mistake, Scotland’s commitment to transition to a net zero society by 2045 will require additional effort from everyone.

“As is right, we will now take time to consider the report’s findings and its impact on Scotland and our policy decisions.”

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