Climate Change in the Cairngorms National Park
The First Minister declared a Climate Emergency in April 2019 and since then the Scottish Government has set a target to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2045. Biodiversity loss, disruption to water supplies and flooding are just some of the challenges that are likely to be caused by rising global temperatures resulting in significant impacts on local communities both in and around the Cairngorms National Park.
The Cairngorms National Park represents 6% of Scotland’s landmass and is well placed to help tackle the climate emergency challenges through nature-based solutions. A board paper ‘Net Zero with Nature’ outlines where the National Park should focus its efforts to lead the way to a low carbon future that supports a nature-rich Park, benefitting resilient local communities. The CNPA has started to set out an ambitious vision and programme of action to tackle climate change which is set to be at the core of the next National Park Partnership Plan.
The Cairngorms are ideally placed to capitalize on the country’s requirement for nature-based solutions such as peatland restoration and woodland creation working on a landscape scale. Currently, there is a huge amount of conservation work taking place right across the Park by lots of different landowners and managers, communities and organisations.
There are 18,000 residents in the National Park and 2 million people visit each year. The CNPA has invested considerably in developing Active Travel to support walking and cycling within and between the Park communities. Encouraging people to use green modes of transport will reduce CO2 emissions while also improving our health and wellbeing and making our communities more sustainable.
CNPA’s Carbon Footprint
The Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) has always strived to be as ‘green’ as possible has monitored its carbon footprint since 2007/08. In a decade, the organisation has managed to reduce its carbon emissions by 40% from 150 tCO2e to 90 tCO2e in 2017/18.
This has been achieved by a reduction in vehicle use and switching to more environmentally friendly pool cars, a reduction in electricity usage, cutting down on paper use, the installation of a biomass boiler, buying only eco-friendly cleaning products and making recycling easier around the office.
View the CNPA’s Greening Policy & emissions report