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Greenhouse Gas Assessment and Pathway to Net Zero

What does the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Assessment and Proposed Pathway to Net Zero Report mean for the National Park?

Where are we now?

 The Park Authority Board have placed a high priority and ambition on tackling the twin crises of climate and nature. This report is part of showing us what that means and is a key part of the evidence base for the new National Park Partnership Plan 2024-29. It gives us: 

  • A detailed Carbon Footprint for the whole National Park  
  • A model for the pace, scale and type of changes required for us to meet our national and international obligations 

 It shows us that the National Park has the capacity to go from being an emitter to being a significant source of sequestration for all of Scotland – a ‘sink’. 

The opportunity & challenge

 The report gives a quantified, detailed breakdown of what is required to meet our net zero ambitions. The same approach to GHG assessment and net zero has been used across all National Parks in the UK, and many AONBs too. It highlights the distinct opportunity we have as a National Park, including: 

  • Adopting and scaling up land use measures to deliver more woodland creation, peatland restoration and regenerative agriculture
  • Being Planning Authority leaders 
  • Creating better places to live, work and visit 

The net zero pathway provides a target date and significant, bespoke targets across six categories of emission reduction: 

  • Energy 
  • Food and drink 
  • Non-food shopping 
  • Travel to and from the area 
  • Land-based CO2 
  • Land-based non-CO2 

These targets are highly ambitious based on current rates of change in the National Park. They will require a significant step change in action. Immediate, ambitious action must be taken by all UK protected landscapes across all six categories. 

What next?

Land Use change (predominantly woodland creation and peatland restoration) is the most important of the six emission reduction categories for us to deliver and, done right, it will deliver for restoring nature and rural communities too.  

Visitor travel to the National Park is highly significant for us too. 

We can also convene and advocate for action by other partners that are key for reaching net zero – If we don’t lead, who will? 

There are uncomfortable truths we must face, the time to act is now, the next five years are critical. 

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