Scotland awards £22m to restore iconic peatlands to cut emissions

Restoring peatlands will help remove and store carbon from the atmosphere, support habitats and species, improve water quality and manage flood risk

The Big Zero report

The Scottish Government has announced funding worth £22 million to help restore Scotland’s iconic peatlands to significantly reduce carbon emissions and support biodiversity.

Degraded peatlands emit more carbon than they remove, becoming a net source of greenhouse gas emissions.

However, restoring them will help remove and store carbon from the atmosphere, support habitats and species, improve water quality and manage flood risk.

The funding is part of the government’s climate change plan and follows a £250 million, 10-year funding package announced last year to support peatland restoration, with a target of restoring 250,000 hectares of degraded peatland by 2030.

In 2021/22, five partners, including NatureScot and Scottish Water will get the share of the latest funding to deliver a range of new and existing restoration projects across Scotland.

Environment Minister Mairi McAllan said: “Peatlands are an integral part of Scotland’s cultural and natural heritage and cover more than 20% of our country. When in good condition, they offer multiple benefits to our environment and communities. Restoring Scotland’s peatlands can help us fight climate change, support biodiversity and provide good, green jobs – often in rural communities.

“That’s why restoring and protecting this precious natural resource is a key part of our response to the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss. Scotland is centre stage this year with COP26 in Glasgow and our significant investment in peatland restoration is just one of the ways we are demonstrating our world leading climate action.”

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