Rural and Environment

  • In the news: Land use report

    23rd January 2020 by

    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.

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  • Start planning for your low carbon future

    17th January 2020 by

    2019 will be remembered as the year that Scotland took a stand on the global climate emergency and saw the introduction of our new world-leading climate change legislation.

    This sets a target date for Scotland to achieve net-zero emissions by 2045. This means that our contribution to climate change will end, definitively, within one generation. This transition will be for the benefit of our environment, our people, now and in the future.

    Let me be clear though, achieving this will require additional effort and will present challenges and opportunities, including for farming and food production.

    It is indisputable that our agricultural industry has a vital role to play in tackling climate change. Indeed I have been clear for many years that farming and food production are part of the solution.

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  • In the news: global climate strikes

    20th September 2019 by

    You may have seen in the news today that a day of action is taking place across the world to raise awareness of the global climate emergency.  Scotland is a world leader in tackling climate change. We have already almost halved greenhouse gas emissions since 1990 while growing the economy, increasing employment and productivity. Now…

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  • Rural Scotland and the Programme for Government

    12th September 2019 by

    Rural Scotland makes a vital contribution to our national economy.

    Our rural and island assets provide natural and business resources for key economic sectors, especially food and drink, but also energy, tourism, creative industries and life science. I am clear that we must work to build on these successes to improve the wellbeing of our rural, coastal and island communities and provide a positive future for them.

    Having declared a global climate emergency, achieving our climate ambitions will involve harnessing the power and capital of rural Scotland. This is a challenge, but also an opportunity for us to help people stay on the land, create sustainable, productive communities and businesses – and I am clear that our rural population are key allies in tackling climate change.

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  • Orkney leading the way on climate change

    15th August 2019 by

    The parliamentary recess provides a valuable opportunity for Scottish Government ministers to spend even more time meeting communities across the country. This week I visited the beautiful Orkney islands to see and hear first-hand how Orcadians are rising to the challenges of climate change unique to island communities and capitalising on innovation in the shared…

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  • In the news: Net-zero commitment

    12th June 2019 by

    The UK Government has finally announced that greenhouse gas emissions in the UK will be cut to almost zero by 2050, which is being reported widely this morning.

    The Scottish Government is determined to stop contributing to climate change within a generation and acted on the advice from the Committee on Climate Change immediately by lodging amendments to the Climate Change (Scotland) Bill to set a legally binding target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045 at the latest.

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  • Farming and the climate emergency

    21st May 2019 by

    Rural Affairs Minister Mairi Gougeon blogs on farming and the global climate emergency.

    The First Minister has declared a global climate emergency. The evidence is irrefutable and the science is compelling. People are clear, they expect action and the world needs to act now, not least for future generations.

    We are leading this response. This was made clear when we acted immediately to the advice of the Committee on Climate Change by lodging amendments to our Climate Change Bill to set a 2045 target for net zero emissions.

    Just last week another warning was issued about the damage humans are causing to our natural environment this time in relation to global biodiversity. But there is nothing to be gained from playing a blame game nor from singling out any one sector.

    So I am equally clear, that farming should not be held up as the problem. It is part of the solution.

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  • Listening to and acting on the scientific evidence

    1st May 2019 by

    By Climate Change Secretary Roseanna Cunningham The Scottish Government has declared a climate emergency. In recent weeks, the next generation has expressed, in growing numbers and with eloquence, sincerity and passion, their heartfelt concern for the planet they will inherit. Just last week, teenage activist Greta Thunberg accused the UK Government of not listening to…

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  • Informing our climate change adaptation plans

    19th March 2019 by

    By Climate Change Secretary Roseanna Cunningham You may well have seen in the news that severe flooding in the south of Malawi – followed by the arrival of Cyclone Idai, which has also caused devastation across Mozambique and Zimbabwe – has affected over a million people, sadly resulting in loss of life and many tens…

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  • In the news: climate change strikes

    15th March 2019 by

    You may have seen in the news today that young people from around the world are taking part in climate change strikes to raise awareness of the threat of climate change, and urge world leaders to take action. Later this month, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will meet with a group of young people from across…

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