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Scot Organic Target

The Climate Change Plan - ScotOrganicTarget

The Scottish Government is currently reviewing its draft Climate Change Plan after the first round of Parliamentary scrutiny in early 2017. The draft Plan brought forward policies and proposals for every sector of our economy which together should deliver the 66% GHG emissions reduction (from 1990 levels) by 2032 required by the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009.

The draft Climate Change Plan published in January 2017 set out a positive vision of Scotland’s future: cleaner, healthier and more prosperous. However, agriculture got off lightly, despite its significant contribution to our climate footprint: it accounts for nearly a quarter of Scotland’s total GHG emissions.

Nourish and Stop Climate Chaos Scotland (SCCS) believe Scottish farming needs higher ambition and stronger leadership from Government to do its fair share of emissions mitigation and prepare for a low-carbon future.

During the first round of Parliamentary scrutiny of the Plan, Nourish campaigned for a target for organic farming to be included in the Plan. Read below as we explain why and how it went. The revised draft Plan will be going back to Parliament in 2018, with more opportunities to get involved. If you want to tweet about the campaign, please use the hashtag #ScotOrganicTarget.

Targets for organic farming

We want a target of 5% of Region 1 land to be in organic management by 2020 to be included in the Plan.

Why?

We wrote this blog to explain the key benefits of organic farming.

We also submitted evidence to the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee, in which we make a strong case for targets and better support for organic farming and agroforestry.

Nourish Director Pete Ritchie was invited to give evidence to the REC Committee, which you can watch here (Youtube, the evidence session starts at 1:02) or read the minutes here.

Campaign outcomes

On 10th March, the Committee on Environment, Climate Change & Land Reform (ECCLR) & the REC Committee published their reports on the draft Plan. Read them here: http://ow.ly/YLxK309LZdl & ow.ly/G92T309LTGA

We were glad to see REC recommending the inclusion of organic farming in the Climate Plan:

“The Committee notes that there was a lack of focus on organic farming, consideration of demand side measures or conservation tillage where this is appropriate, in the Draft Climate Change Plan. It calls on the Scottish Government to consider their inclusion in the final draft.”

We also encouraged our members and supporters to contact their MSPs about the inclusion of an organic target in advance of the parliamentary debate on the Plan on Thursday the 16th of March – and we’re very grateful many of you did!

Organic farming was indeed mentioned by Rhoda Grant MSP during the debate. The Plan is now back with the drafting team and it will be up to Government to accept or decline the recommendations from the Committee reports, and then bring back a final plan to be debated in Parliament again.

Get in touch

If you have any questions or thoughts about this campaign, we’d love to hear from you. Please contact Olga for any queries related to this campaign.