In the time that has passed since COP26 took place in Glasgow across October and November 2021, it would be easy to think that the spotlight has moved away from the issues it looked to tackle. But the truth is that environmental problems don't just disappear because they're not occupying the headlines.
To enable change on a fundamental level, the law naturally needs to adapt to support and, in other cases, enforce the transition. So, what changes should we look out for in the coming years aiming to support sustainability?
In early 2021, Scotland committed to reaching zero emissions by 2045. The change required to achieve this comes with any number of legal challenges. The Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Act 2019 made amendments to the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 to include the 2045 targets to enforce the commitment to the target.
Businesses will require clear guidance and support in areas ranging from transport, building regulations, switching to greener energy, to business waste and recycling, and developing their own policies.
The impact of a reliance on fossil fuels when it comes to climate change is more apparent than it ever has been before. Hywind Scotland is the world's first "floating" windfarm. The hope is that the single windfarm alone will be able to generate enough energy to power around 36,000 homes.
Although the project's aim was routed in a positive environmental change, the project received legal challenges such as the one from the RSPB due to minor environmental impacts the windfarm could potentially have.
Property Development & Real Estate
A considerable part of the Scottish net zero commitment comes in the form of building regulation. The Heat in Buildings Strategy aims to transform over one-million homes across the country, and around fifty-thousand non-domestic buildings, to use low and zero emissions heating systems by 2030.
Scotland's Energy Minister, Paul Wheelhouse, has stated , "Reducing greenhouse gas emissions arising from heating our homes and buildings is one of the most important things we can do to help end Scotland's contribution to climate change."
All of these changes come with the exciting opportunity to be ahead of the curve in an effort to contribute to a better future.
If you would like to discuss your recruitment needs for your law firm to support the changes to come, click here to drop me an email.