Tackling climate change

National Parks can help to tackle climate change or better deal with its effects by restoring natural areas such as peatlands and woodlands to capture and store carbon and to make them better able to withstand extreme weather. National Parks also support communities to cope with extreme weather, and promote green travel and energy efficient buildings.

Why the contribution is important

Climate change is likely to affect all members of society and the natural environment. More extreme weather events will likely cause flooding or damage to property, disrupt transport networks and cut energy supplies.

by ScottishGovernment on May 10, 2022 at 12:13PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.8
Based on: 35 votes


  • Posted by Choosy May 13, 2022 at 14:16

    The idea should substitute "MUST" for "CAN" in its wording. There are examples within the UK where National Parks have failed to deal with or manage these goals and this current reality needs to change.
  • Posted by SJM14 May 19, 2022 at 13:05

    This should be a minimum for the current national parks - however not currently happening and there is a lack of transparency
  • Posted by SueDalton May 21, 2022 at 12:14

    If our national parks do not make significant inroads to our climate goals then there is no hope that the country will meet those goals.
  • Posted by SCNPandAPRS May 26, 2022 at 14:47

    Given the context of the climate emergency National Parks must proactively help to tackle climate change and deal better with its effects in terms of beneficial land use and other measures as described above. In part this can be done by encouraging sympathetic land use but consideration should be given to NPAs undertaking exemplar projects with direct management where both climate and biodiversity aims are addressed. Our comment made under “New Roles for All National Parks” is also relevant here.
  • Posted by GallowayHoopoe May 31, 2022 at 09:17

    We need a wide ranging and honest debate in Scotland about the landscape impacts of renewable energy. At the moment, natural allies are at loggerheads as one lot of environmental goods is traded against another. This is very sad and creates a false dichotomy. National Parks could contribute by looking at managing impact and smaller, local schemes. But the big issue can’t be ducked.
  • Posted by laurabonaura May 31, 2022 at 14:34

    The nature and climate crisis are the only things that ultimately really matter in the scheme of things. Our whole future depends on if we get this right.
  • Posted by MarkGibson June 01, 2022 at 15:29

    • Lead the work on sustainable land use • Encourage communities to become carbon neutral • Have a responsibility for the area to contribute to the 30% target
  • Posted by Prunusavium June 02, 2022 at 08:50

    The designation of a national park will make no difference whatsoever. Peatland restoration and tree planting are happening now without the unnecessary bureaucracy.
  • Posted by ECB June 02, 2022 at 10:56

    National Parks can only do this with adequate governmental policy support, which is currently lacking. It's all well and good setting up a park with a management organisation, but if they've no real power to enact change then nothing is going to happen.
  • Posted by glasach June 05, 2022 at 17:13

    Sadly, many organisations and landowners are climbing on the environmental bandwagon and promoting rewilding and carbon sequestration ideas which benefit them financially but are actually detrimental to the environment. A NP with a management board including some real experts alomg with local people who actually know the area would be able to institute measures which genuinely benefit the environment.
  • Posted by AndrewPym June 05, 2022 at 21:41

    Designation as a National Park will do nothing to isolate any area from the effects of global warming. Every person in every place has a duty to take steps to reduce their own impacts on the world and to contribute to the wider need where possible. All National Parks should identify the opportunities to contribute and to accommodate these within a framework which respects the natural and cultural history, in order to meet the needs of those who live and work in the area.
  • Posted by allanmcdowall June 06, 2022 at 14:06

    Renewables are an essential tool to combat climate change which crosses all borders. National Parks should include renewable schemes where they are appropriate. It is time to recognise that they are part of the rural landscape. And we all need the electricity. Being a National Park would mean that schemes are given greater scrutiny in terms of number, size and placing of turbines.
  • Posted by WoodlandTrustScotland June 06, 2022 at 16:49

    Woodland Trust Scotland supports the idea that woodlands need to be restored, but also expanded , to help tackle climate change. As evidenced in our State of Woods and Trees report, our ancient woodlands are valuable carbon stores that will only increase in the next century. While woodland expansion is vital to tackling climate change, so is managing existing woodland cover and ensuring that permanence of woodland is also accounted in the design of woodland policies. Actions such as expanding woodlands from existing woodland fragments, and ensuring no further loss of ancient woodland would contribute to maintaining and increasing quality woodland cover in Scotland. The way woodland expansion is delivered also has a bearing on carbon emissions, with science pointing to intensive woodland cultivation techniques as out of line with Scotland's climate targets. Instead woodland expansion methods such as natural regeneration, which have a low impact on soil carbon disturbance, should be used more. This is also a cost effective method to deliver woodland expansion. National Parks can also promote using timber in construction, as a good way to capture carbon in wood products long-term as timber replaces high carbon emitting materials.
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