Associate Feature: Meeting shared climate goals
It is always heartening to see political consensus and general agreement that Scotland’s efforts to recover from the pandemic should be in lockstep with meeting the country’s climate ambitions.
Meeting climate targets and aspirations is the greatest challenge from global to local level.
We all have to do our bit and rural Scotland has a key role to play.
In particular, Scottish rural estates – so often the subject of intense political scrutiny – can make a significant contribution and already are. Estates are actively involved in a host of renewable energy projects, including wind, solar and hydro and green tourism is a growing activity.
However, it is in peatland restoration and carbon capture that estates have demonstrated they are in the vanguard of embracing the spirit of COP26. There are many types of landowners involved, from family estate owners to investment companies all understanding that sound business practice and environmental responsibilities can be achieved.
Peatland restoration offers a nature-based solution to the climate crisis and biodiversity loss as well as supporting rural economies through skills development and job creation.
Recent projects in the Monadhliath and Cairngorms National Park involving several estates have helped restore nearly 5,000 acres of peatland. Another peatland restoration and woodland creation scheme in the North-east aims to lock up over 1.4 million tonnes of carbon.
The harnessing of natural capital and delivering real environmental and biodiversity benefit is a fast moving game. That’s why our message to decision makers at Holyrood and at local level is: Don’t take our word for it, come and see for yourselves what is actually happening on the ground.
By visiting an estate that is committed to doing its bit on climate change, we hope there is recognition that progressive land use is of paramount importance in the ongoing debate around land in Scotland.
This article is sponsored by Scottish Land & Estates.