A consortium of 23 organisations, including Care-Peat and led by the Greifswald Mire Centre, Care-Peat partner National University of Ireland Galway and the Wetlands International European Association, call on the preservation of peatlands in the post-2020 Common Agricultural Policy.
Peatlands have been drained extensively for agriculture, forestry and peat extraction, which has lead to emissions of substantial amounts of CO2 and N2O. The EU is one of the main contributors to this, being the second largest emitter of greenhouse gases from drained peatlands (15% of total global peatland emissions). Fully functional and healthy peatlands, however, are the most space efficient, long-term carbon store and sink on our planet. Protecting and restoring these peatlands could therefore greatly reduce and prevent further peatland emissions and other negative consequences of peatland drainage.
The position paper draws on the links between climate change, agriculture and peatland conservation. As agriculture is one of the main causes for peatland drainage, the paper focuses on the potential of the post-2020 Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) to reduce this degradation. By implementing the several recommendations mentioned in the paper, the CAP can pave the way towards low-emission peatland utilisation throughout Europe.