Soil carbon, or the content of carbon housed within soil, plays a significant role in the release and absorption of global greenhouse gas emissions. Changes in land use contribute to release of this carbon, and Scottish Government is interested in the potential implications of such change across several policy areas.

This report considers the current state of knowledge on soil carbon and land use in Scotland, with a primary focus on rural land use in Scotland. It explores the types of soil in Scotland and their relative carbon content, how we understand the soil carbon abatement potential across the range of dominant land uses in Scotland. It also considers how we understand the carbon impact of different land management practices. 

Scotland’s Land Use Strategy enables informed decision making about how Scotland can make the most of its land’s potential now and into the future.

ClimateXChange reviewed the existing research evidence to help Scottish decision makers identify the best land use options for climate change mitigation and adaptation in the second Land Use Strategy. 

This report discusses options for a future forest carbon market in the UK. Forests provide ‘climate services’ by  removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and storing  it as  carbon. This research looks at whether the owners of UK forests could benefit more from maintaining and increasing the stock of carbon locked up in their forests. This could for example be done through some form of tradable carbon credit.

The research looked at:

  • national and international mechanisms to administer the flow of carbon credits generated by forestry;
  • the potential of UK forests to generate Kyoto-compliant carbon offsets;
  • detailed options for developing and operating future forest carbon markets in the UK;
  • barriers to the above options and how they could potentially be overcome;
  • the likely scale of impacts on the forest sector in the UK.

The findings are from a desk-based literature review and a set of five semi-structured interviews with key experts including carbon brokers/traders, government officials and UN staff during March and April 2013. The project was commissioned by ClimateXChange for the Forestry Commission.