Peatlands in drained state cause 5% of current global CO2 emissions, while these drained peatlands cover only 0.3 percent of the global land surface. This means that peatlands should be treated as hotspots for emissions reductions; i.e. as areas of land with very significant emissions, but which enables to concentrate MRV investments.
The trend of conversion is very rapid, especially in the tropics. Worldwide, CO2 emissions from drained peatlands have increased by 25% since 1990. More than 50% of emissions are derived from peatland conversion and land-use in just a few specific countries, such as in Southeast Asia. Besides its mitigation potential, the wise use of peatlands also has strong benefits for increasing resilience to climate change and for sustainable development.
Our stand is therefore that the conservation and restoration of peatlands should be one of the priorities to be addressed in order to effectively meet the world's climate change mitigation ambition pre- and post 2020.