Our sister company Ridge Carbon Capture featured in Yorkshire Post

Cooper Csorba - Ridge Carbon Capture

Home » Our sister company Ridge Carbon Capture featured in Yorkshire Post

Published: June 28, 2024

This Article was Written by: Cooper Csorba - Ridge Clean Energy


Betsy Glasgow-Vasey, the Managing Director of our sister company Ridge Carbon Capture, recently penned an article for the Yorkshire Post, emphasising the critical importance of peatland restoration in the fight against climate change.

The Hidden Power of Peatlands

The article describes why seemingly humble Cumbrian blanket bogs, far removed from the halls of Westminster, should be central to the climate conversation. These unique landscapes, with their carbon-rich soils, are not only beloved parts of our environment but are also essential in mitigating climate change, bolstering biodiversity, and improving water quality.

Peatland Degradation

Over centuries, human activities such as drainage, agriculture, forestry, and peat extraction have severely degraded these fragile ecosystems. Peatlands are nature’s carbon vaults, storing twice as much carbon as the world’s forests. In their healthy state, waterlogged conditions prevent plant material from decomposing fully, thus trapping carbon in the ground. When functioning properly, they continuously accumulate organic material, sequestering even more greenhouse gases over time.

The Urgency of Restoration 

Unfortunately, 80% of UK peatlands have already been modified and drained, turning them from carbon sinks into carbon sources. Drained and damaged peatlands occupy only 0.4% of the Earth’s land area but are responsible for emitting as much as 5% of carbon. In the UK alone, degraded peat emits more CO2 than all its trees can absorb. Therefore, restoring these peatlands is urgent and vital for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Efforts and Investments

In Cumbria, Ridge Carbon Capture is actively working on restoring 450 hectares of degraded peatland. This project collaborates with local communities, tenants, and landowners to ensure long-term sustainability. Over the next century, this effort alone is expected to abate tens of thousands of tonnes of CO2, with actual numbers likely higher as the ecosystem heals.

Public-Private Partnerships

A combination of public and private sector funding is essential for feasible restoration. Private sector investment can complement government efforts, allowing for more extensive and efficient restoration, including long-term monitoring and maintenance. Monitoring programs are crucial to track the impact of restoration work and identify further needs. However, current public funding programs do not cover these costs, placing the burden on private investment.

Incentives and Community Engagement

Clear policies and incentives for landowners and tenants are necessary to encourage restoration activities. The Peatland Code, developed by the IUCN UK Peatland Program, has made significant strides by allowing developers to quantify the climate benefits of their work and sell carbon units on the voluntary carbon market.

The benefits of peatland restoration should be shared with local communities. Projects must be designed with community participation, respecting those who steward these environments. In some areas, peatland restoration is crucial for flood resilience, protecting communities in at-risk catchment areas.

In her article, Betsy convincingly argues that bogs are in effect an essential ally to help us out of the climate crisis:

“Restoring peatlands is not just about preserving landscapes – it’s an inherent part of our strategy to reduce emissions. I’m heartened that the UK, and policymakers in Westminster especially, are becoming more aware of the benefits. Peat has been the foundation of healthy ecosystems for millennia. We ignore its benefits at our peril.”

You can read the full article on the Yorkshire Post website.

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