Pathways for peat

Published: 27 May 2022| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/dfgb37479r.1
Thomas Westhoff


Peatlands are the largest terrestrial carbon store in the world and store twice as much carbon as all forests. In the Netherlands, peatlands have been drained on a wide scale. This drainage has caused the accelerated decomposition of peat, resulting in subsidence and greenhouse gas emissions. In the light of these substantial greenhouse gas emissions, a shift is taking place in the management of peatlands. The Dutch government has underlined this shift by its ambitions to limit greenhouse gas emissions from peatlands by 1,0 Mt CO2-eq in 2030, as described in the Climate Accord. The Dutch government has also committed itself to a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions of 95% in 2050, which will translate to a reduction of 3,9 Mt CO2-eq in 2050 compared to 1990. Provinces are currently developing strategies to achieve the goal in 2030 and a nationwide research program has been set up to monitor and model emissions better. Based on these ongoing strategies and programs, this study wants to illustrate possible combinations of intermediate steps that lead to reaching the reduction goals of 1,0 Mt CO2-eq reduction in 2030 and a reduction of 95%, 3,9 Mt, in 2050 for the Dutch peatlands by designing scenarios and pathways. This study will thereby answer the question: “What are possible pathways to reduce the GHG emissions of the Dutch peatlands with 1,0 Mt CO2-eq by 2030 and with 3,9 Mt by 2050 compared to 1990? “



Environmental Impact of Agriculture