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New Peatlands Strategy conflicts with climate change agreements

category national | environment | press release author Wednesday April 23, 2014 23:43author by Friends of Irish Environment Report this post to the editors

Press Release - Friends of the Irish Environment

In a submission to the National Peatlands Strategy, Friends of the Irish Environment have pointed out that total emissions from our bogs are of the same scale as total emissions from the transport sector.

However, the authors write that ‘the importance of our peatlands for the climate is not correctly acknowledged by the draft Strategy. As a result the draft Strategy fails to integrate with climate change policy and indeed is in conflict with Ireland's obligations under the UNFCCC.’

‘The only reference to climate change in the Executive Summary is an acknowledgement that the climate "will be affected depending on the choices that are made." The reference to "a new understanding" of peatlands relates only to biodiversity.’

The group claims that the ‘Strategy has not been informed by a legal analysis of Ireland's obligations under UNFCCC nor by a policy analysis of what these obligations mean for peatland management.’

The submission advises that the Policy should set out Ireland's obligations regards carbon stores and sinks under UNFCCC under UNFCCC:

‘Already peatland management has been included as an optional means of compliance with the Kyoto Protocol second commitment period and other countries with significant peatlands (like Iceland and Belarus) are opting in.

‘If the State is to tackle greenhouse gas emissions and pursue sustainable development it needs to effectively end large scale peat extraction and rewet peatlands so that they are no longer oxidising and creating vast emissions. ‘

The submission concludes that ‘The Irish Peatlands Policy is already obsolete if climate considerations are not correctly incorporated into it.’

ENDS

Contact: Tony Lowes 353 27 74771 / 353 87 2176316

Read the submission

http://www.friendsoftheirishenvironment.org/attachments...12%20(1).pdf

Related Link: http://www.friendsoftheirishenvironment.org/attachments/article/17261/FIE%20submission%20on%20national%20climate%20policy%20development%20consultation%202012%20%281%29.pdf
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