In Scotland, carbon emissions tax on land is being debated as a means to enhance its ability to do its part in reducing emissions. A new poll on the implementation of carbon land tax on Scotland’s large estates has shown almost a five to one majority support it.
64% supported the introduction of a carbon emissions tax on the biggest landholdings in Scotland, with only 14% against. The poll was commissioned by the wild places charity – the John Muir Trust. The charity has brought forward a proposal for a Carbon Emissions Land Tax on all public, private and NGO landholdings over one thousand hectares, excluding community landowners.
Under the John Muir Trust’s proposal, the Scottish Government would give councils the power to introduce the tax locally at their own discretion with all revenues retained by councils that would go towards financing projects contributing to tackling climate change and enhancing biodiversity.
According to the John Muir Trust, the way part of Scotland’s land is being managed is actually causing it to emit more carbon dioxide gases than international aviation and shipping. Rather than storing carbon, as a natural carbon sink, some of Scottish land is releasing it.
“Much of Scotland’s land, especially in the mountains and uplands, is failing to pull its weight in helping the nation deliver climate and biodiversity targets. The Scottish Government is now trying to address this huge gap. We applaud these efforts,” explained Mike Daniels, Head of Policy for the John Muir Trust.
The poll is said to give confidence to politicians to act boldly and use fiscal measures to compel big landowners to manage their land in the wider public interest. “This level of support gives the Scottish Government the mandate required to legislate for a new Carbon Emissions Land Tax,” added Mr Daniels.