Is Care-Peat a solution to Climate Change in Ireland?

While the carbon capture properties of trees are well known, it is a surprise to many that one third of all soil carbon is stored in peatlands which comprise just 3-5% of the land area of the planet. Peatland eco-systems are arguably the most effective carbon capture machines on the planet when they are fully functional. In Ireland, roughly 15% of our land area is peatland. What we have done in the past is burn it to create electricity or heating and drain it to allow for low value agriculture or inefficient forestry. Times move on and we now have the opportunity to re-wet our cutaway bogs.

Care Peat examines the potential of reducing Ireland’s Carbon emissions by up to 4.6%. This would move Ireland up from it’s current position of last place of all EU countries in the latest Climate Change Performance Index. It is not impressive that Ireland is the only country in the EU in the very low category or red zone as it were. We can move up the table significantly by simply re-wetting our bogs. Sounds easy? Not really. What’s needed is a significant change in policy direction and financing for rural communities. Care Peat aims to create new economic models that are advantageous to all stakeholders looking at the potentials of carbon credits and sphagnum farming for example to try and find a green solution that will also enhance income for landowners.   

Ireland in the Climate Change red zone in the last place in the EU.
Rewetting our peatland could improve our climate change ranking.