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Scottish forests to tackle climate change

Greenbang went to Scotland once and actually quite liked it, especially all the mountains and forests. Now the government is proposing to increase the area of Scotland covered by woodland by 2050 to help tackle climate change.

The government says adding 10,000 hectares of new woodland per year will lock up 1.2m tonnes of carbon per year by 2050. There are also plans to develop renewable sources of energy on the national forest estate in Scotland. Scotland is aiming to produce half of its energy from renewable sources by 2020.

The government has launched a consultation paper – called Climate Change and the National Forest Estate in Scotland – which is inviting comment on:

  • Establishing joint ventures with communities or the private sector to develop renewable sources of energy on the national forest estate
  • How best the national forest estate can contribute to achieving a total of 10,000 hectares of new woodland per year – woodland that will lock up 1.2m tonnes of carbon per year by 2050 and also help to create new jobs
  • The possible creation of a not for profit Trust that will bring renewed vigour to the task of woodland creation

Environment minister Michael Russell said:

“Scotland’s forests are one of our greatest natural assets and also hold huge potential for greener energy. This consultation holds the key to unlocking that potential. It also holds the key to more investment in industry and more jobs. In the current economic climate, we must do all we can to support the industries that are the lifeblood of the rural economy and rural communities.”

Comments on the consultation paper can be submitted until 27 January 2009.

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