Peatland restoration and potential emissions savings on agricultural land: an evidence assessment
Item statusRestricted Access
Embargo end date16/08/2021
Peatland restoration has a significant role in tackling the global climate emergency and helping Scotland meet its ambitious climate change targets. Globally, peatlands are the largest natural terrestrial carbon store, containing about 25% of global soil carbon. However, they have been damaged by overexploitation. The Scottish Government has committed to restoring 250,000 hectares of peatland in Scotland by 2030. About a quarter of Scotland’s area is covered in peat, storing over 3 billion tonnes of carbon. Peat also provides a range of other co-benefits. Changing some current uses of peatland, particularly for agriculture, may lead to significant savings in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and offer some of the highest per hectare emissions savings. This report assesses the current evidence for the potential for emissions savings from re-wetting peatland currently used for agriculture in Scotland and explores alternative uses that might provide an economic return.