Friday, 13 March 2009


News release
Immediate release

News that the Forestry Commission will be able to pursue joint ventures on it’s land to develop renewable energy has been welcomed by Highlands and Islands MSP and Climate Change committee member Rob Gibson.

SNP MSP and member of the Rural Affairs Committee Alasdair Morgan also welcomed the Government’s decision to adopt the Committee’s recommendations on the role of forestry in tackling climate change.

Mr Gibson said;

“Using forestry land for renewable energy development - such as wind turbines, biomass or mini hydro schemes will help Scotland meet its target of 31% of electricity from renewable energy by 2011 and 50% by 2020.

“We must ensure our forest resources play their part in tackling climate change and joint ventures for energy will make a major contribution.

“It’s now time to look at how we ensure we can meet our forest planting targets that will help capture carbon and reduce Scotland’s climate change impact.

“There has been much inaccurate and inappropriate scaremongering in recent months over the future of Scotland’s forests. I hope today’s decisions will put an end to the ridiculous smear tactics employed by the opposition parties on this issue.”

Alasdair Morgan, MSP for the South of Scotland and a member of the Rural Affairs Committee said;

“I believe this is right for Galloway in particular, as a very heavily afforested part of Scotland.

“The SNP Government has listened and unlike our predecessors is responding to the wishes of the people as we try to tackle the serious climate change challenge we face.

“I have to say however, that the process was not assisted in the slightest by the thoroughly shameful scaremongering tactics of Labour and Liberal MSPs and MPs in particular. They added nothing to the debate other than to alarm and misinform.

“The proposal to lease forests would have funded a major increase in tree planting as part of our response to climate change. That requirement still exists and it is now for people to put forward ideas on how to fund that aim.”


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