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Chamber and committees

Question reference: S6W-23288

  • Asked by: Maurice Golden, MSP for North East Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
  • Date lodged: 28 November 2023
  • Current status: Answered by Gillian Martin on 8 December 2023


To ask the Scottish Government how much private investment it has secured for nature restoration efforts in each of the past five years, also broken down by restoration activity.


It is not the Scottish Government’s role to act as a broker or fundraiser. Instead the Scottish Government is seeking to create the conditions which promote the flow of responsible private investment into nature restoration. Our forthcoming Natural Capital Markets Framework will strengthen our existing Interim Principles for Responsible Investment in Natural Capital and set out our approach to using public spending more effectively to leverage in responsible private capital.

The following table shows private investment in nature restoration efforts in each of the past five years in woodland, peatland and marine and coastal restoration activity:


Private Investment in Nature Restoration


Woodland (estimate)

Peatland (estimate)

Marine and Coastal

Yearly total


























For private investment in woodland, these figures are estimates based on the number of carbon credits sold through the Woodland Carbon Code (48% of all credits). Projects will have retained the rest, either to sell in future years or to use themselves. Changes to the carbon price makes a significant difference to the estimate.

For peatland, private investment is calculated as the total project costs minus the public funded monies. These are funded via the sale of Pending Issuance Units or Peatland Carbon Units. The estimate is monies expected to cover project costs that the project owner expects to sell in carbon credits; it does not mean they have sold those units at this point in time. It also means they may end up selling their units for less or more than originally expected. Not included in the data is the profit landowners expect to make, as sometimes the private investment amount exceeds the project costs when public funding in factored in.

For private investment in marine and coastal restoration activity, the figures are the amount secured from private sources for the Scottish Marine Environmental Enhancement Fund (SMEEF), which has been operating for three years.