3% of the world’s land surface is covered by Peatlands, which are large concentrations of organic matter having accumulated over centuries. They store 2x as much carbon as all of Earth’s standing forests. Europe contains 265,000 km2 of various peatland types and if dried out, will go from being a carbon sink to a massive, unstoppable carbon emitter. This is the current cause of one-third of global CO2 emissions. However, these effects on climate change are mostly ignored.
Carbon Connects (CConnnects) will reduce C02 emissions by 50% in agricultural peatlands where traditional practices have unnecessary high emissions (20-40ton C02/ha/y). The land practices drain and strip peatland for energy use, crop production, and animal husbandry. CConnnects will promote an alternative practice of wet agriculture land use that reduces carbon by raising water levels, introducing new crops (eg. Cattail, reed), and isolating carbon in land outputs (biomass, building material)
CConnnects will also develop financially viable business models by developing value chains & use blue and C-credit schemes to enable widespread implementation and scaling-up without public subsidies.
CConnnects delivers 8 pilots of 3-10ha in NL, FR, BE, UK, IE, jointly representing all peatland types in NWE.
Solutions are scalable in NWE to 4,500,000ha peatlands (Larger than NL). CConnnects can reduce 90-180M ton emissions in NWE, equivalent to removing 40-80 million cars. CConnnects’ transnational Farmer-2-Farmer learning programme allows land users to directly share and scale experiences, while actively targeting new adopters with a transnational toolbox of state of art land use and farming practices.
CConnnects has all 6 NWE peatland countries each with 10-20% of the budget, with 50% of budget for purely transnational activities of international innovation and network partners and for the innovative transnational exchange programme. Partners are from government, business, research and landowner groups.
For more information on Carbon Connects and sister EU Interreg projects please see the link below.
Peter Nailon discusses Maximum Sustainable Output (MSO) Farming with BBC Look North's Luke Walton.