Tackling greenhouse gas emissions in the UK is currently high on the agenda. Planting trees and reducing meat production are well reported as means to reduce emissions. We are pleased to see that the government’s Committee on Climate Change also recommends banning peat extraction and sales for horticultural use.
The report reveals a shocking statistic. In 2017, the UK emissions from agriculture were 46 MtCO2e, 9% of UK's greenhouse gases. Emissions from peatlands were estimated at 23 Mt CO2e. Which means the extraction or depletion of peat bogs contributed to half the agricultural CO2 emissions.
In summary, the report advises that:
• The extraction of peat for all uses in the UK should cease by 2023
• Despite the availability of peat-free alternatives for compost and bedding, the horticultural industry has not produced the desired decline in sales of peat based composts.
• Therefore there should be a ban on the sales of peat for horticultural use. This would include imports of peat (over two thirds of peat used in horticulture is imported, either from Ireland or from Eastern Europe.)
Garden Organic wholly supports this ban. For over 10 years we have been fighting against the unnecessary use of peat in potting composts. Extracting peat not only degrades and destroys rare natural habitats, but also our vital, land-based, carbon storage. Peat bogs are the most efficient carbon store on earth, 10 times more carbon than any other ecosystem, including forests.
You too can support our campaign, For Peat’s Sake. And help ban the sales of peat based compost.
- We show you how to make your own potting composts
- Be sure to buy only peat free seed and potting compost
- Demand that your local supplier stocks peat free composts
- Donate to our campaign
For peat’s sake. For the planet’s sake.
See here for the full Committee on Climate Change report
And here for why peat is so important