There is a clear pathway for Scotland to end its contribution to climate change within a generation. Already we’ve supported a renewables revolution, helped build a lower carbon economy, and secured an ambitious and credible Climate Change Act. In 2019, the Scottish Government declared a climate emergency. But there’s still so much more to do.
We need new policy action, decisive political leadership and huge public investment in every sector of the economy. With vital investment, Scotland can lead the way in creating energised green cities with sustainable transport systems, changing the way we eat and heat our homes, and investing in nature-based solutions to tackle climate change and restore nature’s thriving habitats.
We have the knowledge and the technology to reduce our impact on the climate and to ease the pressures on the world's most vulnerable places, people and wildlife. As we recover from the coronavirus crisis, we must ensure our leaders in politics and business step up to end Scotland’s climate pollution in a way that improves people’s lives and livelihoods. We must build back better from the crisis so we can be the last fossil fuel generation.
We’re the first generation to know we are destroying the world, and we could be the last that can do anything about it. The need for action is undeniable and urgent. We know how much nature matters to people and how access to thriving nature is vital to our wellbeing. Nature can restore itself if we give it a fighting chance.
1 in 9 Scottish species is at risk of extinction, driven by climate change, agriculture, urbanisation and other environmental pressures. Much loved species such as hedgehogs, red squirrels and capercaillies are in danger.
The nature and climate emergencies are interlinked and restoring nature can provide natural solutions to climate change, by capturing and locking away carbon, slowing flood water flow, storing water in times of drought and creating space for wildlife to move as the climate changes.
A step change in ambition is needed to restore nature. To achieve this, we’re campaigning for more funding for habitat management and restoration, new environmental legislation with bold targets for nature recovery, and a Nature Emergency Action Plan.
Farmers are at the frontline of climate change, feeling the effects of extreme and unpredictable weather, but they can also be part of the climate solution. Agriculture is the dominant land use in Scotland and is associated with almost a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions. But our land is also our biggest natural defence against climate change. If we look after them, natural habitats, soils and vegetation have huge capacity to capture and store carbon.
We are working to secure policies and support that help farmers and other land managers to reduce emissions, lock up more carbon and allow nature to thrive. By adopting farming practices which increase efficiency and work in harmony with nature, Scotland could be at the forefront of the global transition to climate- and nature-friendly farming with unique export and branding opportunities.
We’re also working to ensure that our land soaks up the maximum amount of carbon in our soils, our peatlands and our woodlands. All this needs new policies, a regional approach, and a revolution in both financial and skills support for farmers and land managers.