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Peatland Restoration - Time to take action

Climate emergency fighting peatland restoration in Scotland

“Inaction with respect to Greenhouse Gas (GHG) mitigation in the short term implies a need for even larger removals of GHGs in the longer term” (Glenk et al. 2021) Procrastination is not an option and now, it appears evident that there is a cost to society in delay also.

It's only 40 days until COP26 is upon us and the Global leaders of the world descend on Glasgow to reaffirm their climate commitments and make lasting, tangible decisions that will have an impact for generations to come; commitment, nerve and collaboration could not be more important as we navigate these crucial crossroads. And now, a recent paper has highlighted the significant economic costs associated with delayed action… particularly when it comes to Peatland Restoration in Scotland.

With early restoration, the effect on climate change is optimised.

Emissions are stopped and the peatland has time to recover and establish itself and therefore will be best placed to be in a resilient state when climate change affects its environment.

“Peatlands with a healthy cover of peat moss (Sphagnum spp.), and thus a natural hydrological regime, are anticipated to buffer seasonal oscillations and show overall greater resilience to gradual changes in the climate” (Alshammari et al., 2020; Gallego-Sala and Prentice, 2013; Lindsay, 2010). 

If a more severe model of climate change takes place, delaying the restoration of peatlands into the middle of the 21st century could mean that as little as 20% of the restored area remains in a good condition by 2080. Clearly, this is not just a huge problem when it comes to mitigating the emissions of a degraded peatland but can also mean increased costs of upkeep for landholders in the event of delayed restoration.

Furthermore, Genk et al. (2021) have identified that there are large economic benefits to early restoration too. It has been estimated that this can be up to £191million annually in Scotland alone.

The message is clear – early restoration is critical to both maximising the economic impact and also ensuring the success of a project.

If you have an area of peatland that you would like assessed for restoration or would like to invest in a restoration project through the purchase of PIUs, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

For more information on this article, please contact:

Freddie Ingleby

Managing Director

+44 (0) 7840 998 944

About Caledonian Climate

Working responsibly with the custodians of Scotland’s beautiful countryside, Caledonian Climate is committed to tackling the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss.

To achieve this, we talk to forward-thinking businesses who want to fulfil their ambitions for carbon emission reductions through high-quality carbon credits with multiple co-benefits. We then partner them with landholders in the Scottish Highlands, maximising the ecological value and sustainability of their estates.

Building on our significant experience, and guided by a distinguished Advisory Board, Caledonian Climate is delivering the benchmark for long-term restoration of Scotland's degraded peatlands, locking away the carbon for good.

Our work also enhances biodiversity, improves water quality, boosts local economies and creates a compelling story for all of our partners to share.