Scottish Government have announced this week that they will be providing £1.7 million to help restore Scotland’s peatland landscape. This new funding, which is part of the Government’s Green Stimulus package announced in this year’s budget, will support the development of a Peatland Plan for Scotland and will support a range of projects from on-the-ground peatland management to the background research that is needed to underpin the creation of peatland carbon markets.
Minister for Environment and Climate Change Paul Wheelhouse said:
“The transition to a low-carbon, highly resource-efficient economy is a key priority for this Government. Over 20 per cent of Scotland's land is covered by peat or peaty soils, and it is estimated that they store fifteen times more carbon than UK vegetation. We know that peatlands in good condition can provide many benefits to our biodiversity, wildlife, and economy, and could also play a critical role in our fight against climate change.
“This offers us a real chance to influence peatland restoration and management and to contribute on the international stage. Working with Scottish Natural Heritage and other interested organisations, we will develop a substantial programme of peatland restoration across Scotland supported by £1.7 million from our Green Stimulus Package.
“This Government is committed to protecting our natural environment and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Despite clear pressures on public finances, we have ensured that environmental measures are at the very heart of our budget, and I believe this will deliver significant environmental benefits and play a pivotal role in supporting our nation’s economic recovery.”
Douglas McAdam, Scottish Land & Estates CEO, said:
“This is excellent news. The Scottish Government has clearly understood the contribution that land managers can make to the rural economy and to tackling society’s greenhouse gas emissions. Our members manage large areas of peatland and deliver a wider range of benefits to society and this funding could be extremely useful in galvanising activity in this area and, importantly, unlocking the potential of private investment in carbon sequestration in peatlands.
Peatland carbon markets and investment are just round the corner and this funding from Scottish Government could unlock a much bigger prize and reduce the need for government funding in the long term”.