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Chamber and committees

Question reference: S5W-29674

  • Asked by: Rachael Hamilton, MSP for Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
  • Date lodged: 8 June 2020
  • Current status: Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 18 June 2020


To ask the Scottish Government what assessment it has made of the performance of the land use strategy in contributing to meeting its climate change and biodiversity targets.


As per a duty placed upon Scottish Minister through the Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Act 2019 the Scottish Government shall publish its first annual progress report on the current Land Use Strategy this summer. This report will demonstrate the progress made by the Scottish Government on the nine policies and five proposals that feature within the current Land Use Strategy 2016-2021.

Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry remains Scotland’s largest source of carbon sequestration and commitments made within the Land Use Strategy 2016-2021 continue to contribute to this. This carbon store will be vital as Scotland moves towards being a net-zero greenhouse gas emissions nation by 2045.

With regards to biodiversity, Scotland has and continues to address biodiversity loss through our biodiversity strategy and is on track to achieve seven out of the twenty targets agreed by the international community in 2010, which compares favourably with the global average of 4 out of 20, and is progressing towards meeting the remaining twelve targets.

However, despite our efforts, global, UK and Scottish reports published in 2019 showed ongoing declines in biodiversity and we have acknowledged that more still needs to be done both domestically and internationally. The Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform (ECCLR) wrote to the ECCLR committee in December 2019 about our plans in this area.