A drive by wealthy companies to plant forests in the Scottish Highlands to offset their carbon emissions risks creating even greater inequalities in rural areas, a major report has warned.

The analysis says a surge of Highland estate sales to major corporations and cash-rich investors, such as Aviva, Standard Life and BrewDog, has driven up land prices sharply and increased the elitism and exclusivity of land ownership, while they aim to limit climate heating.

John Hollingdale, a community ownership expert, argues that much stricter rules on land ownership, tax breaks and forestry subsidies are needed to ensure the rush to meet government forestry and net zero targets has the widest public benefit.

Hamish Trench, the chief executive of the Scottish Land Commission, an official body focused on reforming highly concentrated patterns of land ownership, believes there is a “real risk” green finance investments will further concentrate the ownership of land and its benefits.

Want to see more SNP fails? – Politics Matters

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