I had thought I’d be writing this Scottish election results blog article in about a weeks time after much party negotiating, coalition rumouring and new Government formation. But with Alex Salmond and his SNP having just held Clackmannanshire and Dunblane they already have an overall majority in Parliament and the big man will be First Minister again.
What does this mean for action on climate change over the next 5 critical years? Perhaps the SNP will carry on much as before but with the confidence of a majority this time round. But, if we look back at the election campaign, were there new climate change promises in their manifesto that we can hold them to?
Here are a few highlights of what they promised:
For RSPB Scotland, our key climate change ask was for commitment on peatland restoration. We were pleased that their manifesto did promise action, even though there was no detail on money or the area of peat bog to be restored. So there’s plenty of work still to do with the new Government, to secure what we know will be good for climate change and essential for getting life back into our peat bogs.
What it means is the peat will be dug up to create the the infrastructure (roads, drains, bases for towers etc) for wind farms on all the hills, which in turn will cause the death of numerous eagles (of both species) kites & many other species of raptor plus a range of other birds.
Thanks for the comment bordercollie.
We have been asking the Scottish Government to restore 600,000ha of peatlands in Scotland. This should be possible because this area covers areas of peatbog currently designated for nature and although they are protected they are not all in favourable condition. 600,000ha seems like a massive amount but in Scotland there is 1.5m ha of peatbog and even more of carbon-rich soil. RSPB Scotland has worked hard with windfarm developers on developing guidlines for wind energy in the right place and for putting in place habitat managment. We also oppose developments where they will cause damage to our most important habitats and birds.