NFU Scotland welcomes change in direction on climate policy targets

Changes to Scotland’s climate change targets must drive the focus to 'how' and not 'when', NFU Scotland says
Changes to Scotland’s climate change targets must drive the focus to 'how' and not 'when', NFU Scotland says

NFU Scotland has welcomed the Scottish government's change in direction on its climate policy targets as it ditches plans to slash carbon emissions by 75% by 2030.

In a statement to the Scottish parliament, Energy Secretary Mairi McAllan has accepted that this target was out of reach.

The announcement is a major climbdown from a government which was one of the first in the world to declare a climate emergency.

However, Ms McAllan pledged an 'unwavering commitment' to retain a more ambitious target of reaching net zero by 2045.

The government also still plans to introduce mandatory carbon audits and nutrient management plans by 2028.

NFU Scotland has welcomed the change in direction, emphasising that policy must now "shift to ‘how’ rather than being a hostage to ‘when’."

It said Scottish farmers and crofters, if appropriately equipped and empowered with the right tools and support, would play a key role in meeting net zero targets.

NFU Scotland vice president, Alasdair Macnab said: “Scottish government must look to science to ensure that the current over-emphasis on emissions and a lack of emphasis on sequestration is addressed.

"It is in everyone’s interests that the right tools are adopted that more accurately calculate all the facts around sequestration and emissions at a grassroots level as part of our journey to net zero.

NFU Scotland has also been highlighting the need for the Scottish government to also focus on adaptation and welcome the current consultation on the Scottish National Adaptation Plan.

"We will continue to work closely with the Scottish government and others to ensure farming and crofting are enabled to adapt to a changing climate and play their unique role in tackling climate change."