Closing the emissions gap with peatlands

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Courtesy of Wetlands International

The 18th conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) takes place against a backdrop of mounting evidence that time is running out to avert dangerous climate change. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has recently highlighted1 the large gap between current greenhouse gas emissions levels and reduction commitments, and the emissions reductions needed to effectively limit global warming to less than 2°C.

Another recent report by the World Bank2 argues that the world is on the way to a 4°C increase in average temperatures, and that the consequences will be ”cataclysmic”, ranging from rising sea levels to threatened food security.

Degrading peatlands cover only 0.3% of the Earth’s surface, but they are responsible for almost 6% of global anthropogenic CO2 emissions. Mitigating these emissions would make a significant contribution to closing the emissions gap.

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