Local carbon land tax boost for nature

A carbon land tax will empower Scotland's councils to take climate action.

The Scottish Government is to explore options for councils to introduce a local carbon or land tax levy to encourage more action on climate and nature.

Scottish Greens co-leader Lorna Slater MSP said the move could incentivise landowners to restore their degraded peatlands and create more woodland, both key tools in tackling the climate and nature crisis.

Announcing the action at the party’s autumn conference, Ms Slater said:

“Nature based solutions to the climate crisis like these are essential if we are to meet our climate and nature commitments.” 

In 2019 the Scottish Parliament passed the landmark climate change act, influenced heavily by the Scottish Greens at the time.

With the party now in government with two ministers, they have helped deliver record levels of funding for climate and nature restoration, and in tackling the threat to Scotland’s biodiversity.

Ms Slater also launched a new consultation for communities bidding to bring Scotland’s next National Park to their area, which will further strengthen Scottish Government efforts to tackle environmental issues head on. 

The party’s environment spokesperson Mark Ruskell said:

“I am delighted that thanks not only to having Scottish Greens in government, but early work by Scotland’s Climate Assembly, that this recommendation can be taken forward.

“It will build on the existing generous subsidies for landowners to restore peatland and reforest Scotland, giving them a further incentive to take action.

“This is a novel proposal, and much work now needs to be done in partnership with councils to develop a simple and effective approach to delivering this important recommendation by Scotland’s Climate Assembly.”

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