- 31 Mar 2021
Date received: 10 Feb 2021
Date responded: 10 Mar 2021
1. Any figures on how much public money is spent on carbon credits each year. I have checked your website and couldn't find any information on this.
2. I have also checked the UK Land Carbon Registry and although Forestry and Land Scotland is listed as an account holder, there is no information about the projects they invested in.
As the information you have requested is ‘environmental information’ for the purposes of the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs), we are required to deal with your request under those Regulations. We are applying the exemption at section 39(2) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA), so that we do not also have to deal with your request under FOISA.
This exemption is subject to the ‘public interest test’. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption, because there is no public interest in dealing with the same request under two different regimes. This is essentially a technical point and has no material effect on the outcome of your request.
You referred in your email to a presentation on the Farm Advisory Service's website. This is about the Woodland Carbon Guarantee scheme in England, through which the Forestry Commission auctions contracts for guaranteed carbon payments in future. All projects entering the Guarantee must also conform to the Woodland Carbon Code. I can confirm that the Woodland Carbon Guarantee only operates in England and that the Scottish Government has not purchased any carbon credits under the scheme.
I can also confirm that the Scottish Government has not purchased any carbon credits under the Woodland Carbon Code (which operates across the UK) or, in records for the past 10 years, through international carbon credit schemes.
Regarding the UK Land Carbon Registry, Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) has opened an account as a project developer and provider of carbon units – rather than as an investor - and has not invested in any other woodland carbon projects. The WCC Secretariat is working with FLS to register its carbon projects during 2021.
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrews House