THE President of the forthcoming COP26 conference in Glasgow has hailed the efforts of Kaitiaki Consulting for its pioneering plans to help tackle the climate emergency.
Alok Sharma MP, who is heading up the global event for the UK in November, singled out our ‘Billion Trees Scotland’ campaign saying it “aligns so well with our objectives”.
Billion Trees Scotland is designed as a national effort that would see a billion native species trees planted to help restore Scotland’s lost forest along with restoring degraded peatlands, to sequester carbon and help achieve the government’s target for net zero emissions.
That in turn can help tackle the climate and biodiversity crises, help restore functioning eco systems, while opening up green spaces and nature corridors for well-being and created hundreds of new green jobs and potentially foster a new era of land use reform.
Championing the campaign as “ambitious” Mr Sharma said there was a “major opportunity” through COP26 to support such work and “accelerate global efforts to enhance nature whilst demonstrating domestic leadership on these issues.”
In his letter, he added: “I am committed to delivering an inclusive and all of UK COP26 in Glasgow and ensuring that COP26 is an ambitious and successful summit which showcases the UK as a world leader in tackling climate change.
“Collaborations between countries and organisations plays a vital role in the reduction of emissions and the promotion of sustainability, so I am grateful to have your support.”
His comments were in a response to an introduction to the project by the Shadow Scottish Secretary Ian Murray MP, and comes as preparations for the summit between November 1 and 12 are ramped up with only six months to go.
Kaitiaki Consulting is an environmental consultancy seeking to partner with businesses, councils and organisations to help them address their climate change efforts through habitat restoration and rewilding.
You can read more about our mission here.
Set-up by conservationist Alex Foulkes, we established the Billion Trees Scotland campaign to spearhead efforts to bring back Scotland’s lost native forests and restore peatlands to help biodiversity thrive, and campaign for land-use change and reform.
Because native species trees are proven to sequester far carbon emissions while also helping biodiversity to thrive better than much plantation forest, it is hoped a focus on planting new growth in such numbers can help Scotland and the UK achieve its net zero targets and sustain them for generations.
We are also targeting peatland restoration, nature corridors and research in its work.
Managing Director Alex Foulkes said: “I am grateful for the support of this year’s COP26 President elect Alok Sharma and to Shadow Scottish Secretary Ian Murray who both clearly fully understand the vital importance of massively increasing our levels of tree planting across Scotland and the rest of the UK if we are to tackle the climate and nature emergencies.
“We hope that the various initiatives that are being undertaken towards accelerating these activities will also be matched by a focus on encouraging banks and public bodies to make climate critical funding much more readily available so those of us trying to support these efforts can do so quickly in the face of a global pandemic that has delayed so much activity around nature facing projects.
“Our team will also continue to make further representations to the Scottish Government to support our work and would welcome the recent appointments of Mairi McAllan, Mairi Gougeon, Michael Matheson and John Swinney in particular in anticipation that they will bring a new focus and sense of urgency to this most critically important of responsibilities.”
Kaitiaki is also founding member of the Centre for Strategic Climate Solutions in partnership with Edinburgh-based Smart PA, geared towards advising large businesses and organisations on how to bring down their carbon emissions and offset those that remain essential in a way that helps fund landscape scale nature restoration.
That has included pioneering new research into the UK and EU’s Emissions Trading Systems and working with local authorities across Scotland on the potential for a network of climate forests to help bring nature back into communities.
New interventions from the US through climate ambassador John Kerry, a pledge by EU members to deliver on their Paris Agreement commitments and a greater focus on climate and nature through new appointments to the Scottish Government’s cabinet, have added significant momentum to hopes of what can be achieved at the COP26 summit.
It comes at a time when Canada and North West America are suffering from what experts say may be the worst heatwave for 1200 years, while 400,000 people are facing starvation in Madagascar from drought.