Rural Payments Strategy 2020-21

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 12th November 2020.

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Photo of Fergus Ewing Fergus Ewing Scottish National Party

I emphasise that a great deal of work that uses CAP funds in both pillar 1 and pillar 2 for the advancement of environmental matters is already happening, and we support it. The additional work to which Claudia Beamish alludes includes our investment in forestry—£150 million of additional resource, which takes the rise in new plantings further upward from 11,000—and in the restoration of peatland, to which my colleague Roseanna Cunningham has been devoted and for which she secured funding of, I believe, £250 million over the next 10 years.

Peatland restoration and afforestation are two parts of it. In addition, agri-forestry and specific aspects of it, have been receiving a particular focus. On top of that, the renewables contribution and carbon capture and storage are key elements of the overall strategy to tackle climate change. The farming and food production advisory group is continuing to complete its work, and I expect that its report should be available later this year, although it is an independent group, so that is up to it.