The Climate Emergency and Landownership in Scotland
Promovendus: Dhr. C. Stewart
Promotor: Mw. Dr. J. Robbie
Duur: 1/9/2022 - 31/8/2025
In 2019, the Scottish Government declared a climate emergency, entrenching in law the requirement to transition to net zero emissions of greenhouse gases by 2045.1 The ownership and use of land in Scotland is shifting quickly to address the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss. However, there is a lack of systemic legal analysis of the relationship between the climate emergency and landownership. Therefore, this project will analyse three distinct measures to incentivise landowners to contribute to climate change mitigation. These are: a) Market measures, focusing on emerging land markets for carbon sequestration; b) Land taxation measures; and c) Community ownership. The Scottish Government has, in the last 20 years, made efforts to ensure that sustainable development guides the regulation of land in Scotland. As such, it pervades land policy, guidance and legislation. Therefore, the measures outlined above will be normatively evaluated and conclusions drawn regarding whether any one is more equipped to deliver the social, environmental and economic concerns which define sustainable development. The thesis will provide policy recommendations based on this analysis.