In April 2019, Scotland’s First Minister declared a Climate Emergency. Nature can be on the front line of responding to that emergency…but only if we give it the chance.

As our life support system, nature is fundamental to our everyday lives. It provides us with food, medicine, building materials and clothing. It also cleans our water, purifies our air, helps to control temperature and locks up carbon dioxide and other harmful greenhouse gases.

But with one million species of plants and animals at risk of extinction globally, and one in nine at risk in Scotland, nature is under significant threat.

Protecting the people and places that we care about is important to us all, but we can only do this in the long-term by protecting nature.


One million species
of plants and animals
are threatened
with extinction…


What impact is climate change having on nature in Scotland?

The effects of climate change can already be seen in Scotland, with some plants and animals struggling to survive in places that they have occupied for generations, and others appearing in places they have never been seen before.

These changes are being driven by factors such as warming temperatures, more frequent and severe weather events and changes in the distribution of prey species.

Watch our short video to learn more.


Natural ecosystems
absorb around half of
the CO2 generated
by human activity…


How can nature help to combat climate change?

As well as being a victim of climate change, nature can and must be a part of the solution.

The natural processes and systems that have evolved over billions of years on Earth can help to reduce the effects of climate change and help us adapt to the changes that we can no longer avoid.

Critically, nature can only help if it’s in a healthy state. Damaged or degraded habitats can actually release more harmful gases into the atmosphere, so protecting and restoring our natural world is an essential part of combating climate change.

Watch our short video to learn more.

Start a Conversation

Get your local community talking about climate change
by hosting a climate conversation. The Scottish Government
has produced a pack to help you get started.

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