Protecting peatland has the potential global market value of £2.8 billion ($3.4 billion) a year, a surprisingly high figure because wetlands/peatlands can release so much heat-trapping gas into the atmosphere when they are burned / destroyed.
According to Tim de Rosen, chief executive of a new exchange called CLMT to handle sales of carbon credits from peatland-protection projects in the UK, about 5% of 500m ha of peatlands around the world is lost per year.
That’s a 25m ha (loss per year). That’s also conservative because the figure may be closer to 10%.
Assuming 5 tons of CO2 per ha is saved, that’s 125 m tons of co2 … and multiplied by £22/ton, a recent traded price, that’s £2.75b per year globally. Projects can last 30-100 years so the potential in Scotland alone is as much as £7 billion.
Scotland has some areas of very deep peat of 10 meters. See this data.
CLMT Exchange is a unit of ClimaFi Ltd.
Climate change –by Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust Limited
Over the last 300 years, a staggering 87% of the world’s wetlands have been lost, says WWT.
During this time, hundreds of thousands of hectares have been drained to provide land for housing, industry and agriculture.
The relationship between wetlands and climate change is complex. Changes in rainfall and temperature pose a significant threat to wetlands, causing them to dry out. This is just one of the reasons that wetland species like amphibians, migratory birds and corals are among the first and hardest hit by climate change.
However, wetlands could also be part of the solution to climate change. Like forests, they can act as vast ‘carbon sinks’, drawing down carbon and sequestering it so it can’t escape back into our atmosphere. Conversely, when wetlands are destroyed or developed on, they can release carbon and other greenhouse gases back into the atmosphere.