Land Use & Forestry
Rural land use presents both a risk and opportunity to Scotland to meet its ambitious climate change aspirations. Traditional and new land uses (forestry apart) contribute to carbon emissions, but also provide significant opportunities for renewable energy, carbon reduction and avoidance, as well as offset capability.
Effective management of land in Scotland is essential in mitigating climate change and adapting to the opportunities and challenges posed by climate change. The subgroup has an opportunity to ensure that the Scotland’s unique carbon stores are taken advantage of fully, by maintaining and enhancing soils, vegetation and forests as well as exploring the opportunities for carbon reduction in agriculture, adoption of renewable energy and energy efficient built infrastructure.
Projects being undertaken by the Land Use & Forestry Subgroup in 2013:
- Peatlands – support the work currently underway in Scotland on peatlands by promoting the significant benefits of peatland restoration and conservation for climate change, biodiversity and water.
- Emission Reduction in Farms – To help raise awareness of the potential to save money whilst also reducing emissions, while supporting the ‘Farming for a Better Climate’ outreach programme, the Subgroup is exploring the potential to create a high-profile and valuable prize for emissions reductions in farming.
- Use of Scottish timber in the construction and refurbishment of buildings – the Subgroup will support the work already underway to go beyond simply promoting the benefits of timber as a carbon positive construction material. The potential role of planning, building standards and building design will be considered, as must issues of maximising the use of home-grown timber, where the carbon can be credited by the Scottish Government, and ensuring robust systems for measuring carbon.