Insight Climate: Peatlands in the climate crisis

Submitted on Wednesday, 09/03/2022

Did you know that peatlands are more effective than forests at storing carbon? One third of all soil carbon is stored in peatlands despite the fact that only 3% of global land area. They could be a powerful tool in the effort to draw the world back from the brink in the climate crisis. When peatlands are degraded and drained, they contribute to greenhouse gas emmissions. When rewetted and restored, they sequester carbon. When this is put into context, degraded peatlands make up 5% of global greenhouse gas emmissions, that’s more than the combined total emmissions of the aviation and shipping industries. Rewetting peatlands is necessary and urgent.

Insight@NUIGalway’s Niall O Brolcháin and Martin Serrano and their teams are currently working on four separate projects, CarePeat, Steps, MultiPeat and Waterlands, all of which focus on carbon sequestration, energy storage and CO2 reduction for a sustainable planet.

Niall O Brolcháin presented a White Paper making the case for carbon farming on peatlands at COP26 late last year. You can read that here.

He also spoke to the Insight Podcast about the value of peatlands for carbon sequesterisation but also for agriculture. You can listen to that on the player above.