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Closing the emissions gap with peatlands

This media briefing provides some background information on how peatland restoration and conservation action, stimulated by UNFCCC incentives, could significantly contribute to closing the so-called “emissions gap”.


The 18th conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) takes place against a backdrop of mounting evidence that time is running out to avert dangerous climate change. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has recently highlighted1 the large gap between current greenhouse gas emissions levels and reduction commitments, and the emissions reductions needed to effectively limit global warming to less than 2°C.

Another recent report by the World Bank2 argues that the world is on the way to a 4°C increase in average temperatures, and that the consequences will be ”cataclysmic”, ranging from rising sea levels to threatened food security.

Degrading peatlands cover only 0.3% of the Earth’s surface, but they are responsible for almost 6% of global anthropogenic CO2 emissions. Mitigating these emissions would make a significant contribution to closing the emissions gap.

1.    UNEP’s “The Emissions Gap Report 2012” can be found at:
2.    The World Bank report “Turn Down the Heat: Why a 4°C Warmer World Must be Avoided” can be found at:

Related Action(s):
UN Climate Summit in Doha (26 Nov – 7 Dec 2012)

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