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Peat compost ban hailed by environmentalists in fight against climate change, but fears of burning peatlands remain | Climate News

A government ban on selling peat compost to gardeners in England from 2024 has been hailed by environmental groups as another step towards tackling climate change.

But concerns remain about “glaring loopholes” in government plans that would continue to burn carbon-rich peatlands.

Environment Secretary George Eustice in a speech at Delamere Forest today unveiled a new action plan for peat and Tree Action Plan in England, in order to tackle the weather and the crises of nature in England.

10% of the UK is peatlands
80% of the UK’s nearly three million hectares of peatlands are estimated to be in degraded condition

UK peatlands store three billion tonnes of carbon, according to the British Ecological Society, three times more than UK forests.

They are also home to rare wildlife and can provide clean water and protect against flooding.

But harvesting the peat for compost impairs a bog’s ability to store carbon, and the bog is sometimes burned for grouse hunting or in an effort to manage the land.

The government previously attempted a voluntary phase-out of peat sales by 2020 but, having missed that deadline, has now decided to ban sales from 2024, subject to consultation.

Environmentalists welcomed the commitments, but warned they were too short-term and continued peatland burning builds up even worse problems for the future.

Paul de Zylva, nature activist at Friends of the Earth, praised the plan to “fully recognize the need to protect our peatlands for reasons of energizing nature, storing carbon, helping to retain flood waters , and all those things that peatlands do. “

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But he said plans to phase out peatland burning were “vague” and “short-term.”

Mr de Zylva warned that the problem in the meantime is that the burning continues, which not only reduces the capacity of the bog …

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This notice was published: 2021-05-18 09:52:00