The growing impacts of the climate emergency have been all too real to those living, working and visiting the National Park. There have been more frequent flooding and landslips, seriously damaging people’s homes, communities and businesses. Our warmer and wetter climate also threatens nature, where ecosystems, once stable and able to support many species, are struggling to adapt to these quickly snowballing changes. It’s clear that doing nothing is not an option: we must act now.
The Scottish Government declared a global climate emergency in 2019, and set out its ambition to become a ‘Net Zero Nation’ by 2045. Since then, the world has been seriously impacted by COVID-19. Whilst we are still in the midst of the pandemic, we know we must aim for a just and green recovery, which has formed a core theme in the latest Climate Change Plan update from the Scottish Government.
As a public body, we here at the National Park Authority have a moral and statutory obligation to play our part in helping Scotland achieve its ambitious plans. We believe we must lead by example in tackling the climate emergency and that’s why we are weaving a net zero approach across the fabric of our entire organisation. This is our Mission Zero: our plan for transforming how our organisation operates and invests, with the ambition to be a net zero emitting organisation by 2030.
This will influence how we work as an organisation and the way that we work with our partners across the National Park.
As a place, the National Park is ideally suited to tackle the climate emergency at landscape scale. With partners, we have delivered actions for a number of years which place nature-based solutions at the core of tackling climate emergency, such as peatland restoration works to sink carbon or supporting riparian habitat restoration to improve resilience to flooding. Not only does this ‘net zero with nature’ approach strengthen the National Park’s resilience to climate change, it also delivers tangible benefits to nature and helps to divert the other ecological emergency we are facing: the nature crisis.
You have a role to play too. Whether you’re visiting the National Park for the day, or you live or work here, all of us can make choices that positively impact and protect this special place.