Carbon land tax would not aid environmental outcomes

Press Release

Scottish Land & Estates, the rural business organisation, has responded to a call from the John Muir Trust for the introduction of a new carbon land tax.

Stephen Young, Head of Policy at Scottish Land & Estates, said:

"Owners of rural land are already playing a huge role in helping meet the Scottish Government's climate change targets. Landowners have embraced peatland restoration and woodland creation, with privately owned land seeing the majority of the uptake of these schemes. Many have gone on to be accredited by Wildlife Estates Scotland for their work in conservation and wildlife management. Encouraging further progress on good environmental outcomes from hugely valuable sectors such as agriculture would seem more sensible than introducing punitive tax measures - measures that JMT only want to levy at certain types of owners.

"Such a tax would be hugely costly to administer for the public purse due to the extensive soil sampling, woodland and peatland surveys that it would require and would almost certainly cost more to organise than the tax income it would generate. It would also set land uses against each other rather than progress integrated land management which seeks the best outcomes by using the right land for the right purpose."