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Westminster politicians took our oil and gas and our wind and wave power and now the final indignity. Our land.

Carbon and peatland in Scotland | GRID-Arendal

Climate Change

Scottish peatlands sustain the bulk of Scotlands wildlife and provide storage and filtration systems ensuring a plentiful supply of clean water.

In addition, they store around 2 billion tonnes of carbon and are capable of holding many billions of tonnes more but not without a major investment of finance which is well beyond the means of a devolved Scottish government.

So, once again the future health and well being of Scots is in the hands of Westminster politicians.

Scotlands climate change prevention targets are also subsumed into the UK target and this places an extra burden on Scotland since the bulk of the peatlands in England are extensively damaged, many areas beyond repair due to massive drainage, peat extraction and burning over many centuries.

Scottish peatlands have suffered damage but not to the same extent. But it is calculated that around 25 million tonnes of co2 are released back into the atmosphere each year by Scotlands damaged peatlands a situation that needs to be rectified without undue delay.

The drawback is a lack of government funding. Around £1 billion is needed now and expectations are that £30 million might be made available.

Trees also absorb large amounts of carbon and store it in their wood but as in the case of the peatlands, huge areas of Scottish native woodland has been destroyed over hundreds of years and must be replaced.

Attracting new money is imperative to success so that the afforestation of Scotlands woodlands can be assured and rewilding measures will need to include investment opportunities for forestry management affording the production of conifer trees for the provision of wood to be used on sustainable projects.

Brexit

Departing from the European Market returned the UK to World Free Trade ideals and all its benefits and pitfalls.

A financial pot returned was £4.50 Billion previously handed over to the EC each year to provide financial support of the EC farming policy which only encouraged the inefficient use of farming land and the production of unwanted produce.

The bulk of the pot will be withheld by the Westminster government and farming grants will be much reduced due to the commitments to trade agreements put in place post Brexit with countries worldwide for the supply of produce.

The foregoing pressures will force many small farmers off the land and large estate holders will also feel the pinch as their grants dry up.

Mapped: Scotland's planet-saving carbon 'sinks' | HeraldScotland

Scottish Land Commission

Farmers identified items of concern that they believe are relevant to the maintenance and development of the tenant farming sector in Scotland, namely: support and carbon trading.

Bolstered by the recent announcement of a new government-appointed advisory board to oversee proposals for future agriculture support, farming leaders’ attention is focused on future support for the industry.

Farmer groups have also advised the Scottish Government on how to cut emissions and the new advisory board is committed to the creation of a package of pilot measures as part of the Government’s approach.

The aim is to meet the Government’s climate change obligation to transition to net-zero carbon emissions by 2045. This means the adoption of measures to reduce greenhouse gasses:

Optimise slurry and manure usage and storage.

Increase innovation in areas such as feedstuffs and use of fertilisers, causing less disturbance to soils.

Support carbon sequestration and storage through planting trees, restoring peatland, or growing biomass.

The Clearances

Scotland is on the cusp of a boom in the purchase of many millions of acres of Scotlands highland and lowland estates, peatlands and forests with businesses looking to invest billions to meet their climate change commitments.

The land grab is being led by hedge funds and large conglomerates that are seeking to offset their carbon emissions with their purchases.

Authorising a transfer of title will be subject to the approval of the Scottish Land Commission who will insist on rewilding measures including extensive tree planting and peatland restoration supported by financial grants adding value to the land boosting profits.

Comment:

Westminster politicians took our oil and gas and our wind and wave power and the final indignity. Our land.

Scotland Peatland map_carbon class (A2477850) | Scotland's Nature

2 replies on “Westminster politicians took our oil and gas and our wind and wave power and now the final indignity. Our land.”

Prescient indeed CJ. I had intended commenting on this matter in your previous blog.
Agricultural land values in Scotland have risen by over 30% in the past year compared to only around 6% in the UK as a whole.

‘The land grab’ is as you say being carried out by Investors keen to make a quick buck and
capitalise on the escalating carbon market. A major concern into the future is that productive agricultural land will be sacrificed in the name of mammon. Once afforestation takes over, particularly with the fast growing coniferous varieties the soil becomes degraded and is unlikely to return to agricultural production be it simply grazing or otherwise.

It of course has to be understood huge government grants are available for planting and ‘rewilding’ along with tax concessions into the future in which a subsidiary market will reside.
Remote rural communities will be put under extreme pressure especially where rogue landowners ‘adopt green credentials’ in the furtherance of monetary gain.

In some parts of the country Tenant Farmers who have the most to lose are already reporting cold calling by Land Agents keen to act on behalf of the plunderers, this at a time when food security is being put under immense strain because of climate change and more adversely in this country Scotland due to the increasing fallout emanating from BREXIT.

It remains to be seen if this Scottish Government will legislate to protect or to assist again in the stripping of our natural assets. If as in every other aspect of Government to date a bleak future is forecast for Scotland.

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Scotland will become A carpetbaggers paradise. I expect the major oil companies will be investing their profits in the purchase of paeatlands and large expanses of rural areas which they will rewild and retain forever.

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