Restoring the planet’s precious ecosystems often seems like an immeasurably colossal task, but it is, undoubtedly, a pursuit worth striving for. Today, I want to talk about the finances behind one of the most significant and urgent challenges we face: the restoration of the 46 million hectares of degraded peatlands worldwide.
Peatlands, vital carbon sinks, are under threat, and their degradation contributes substantially to greenhouse gas emissions. Their restoration is pivotal in our fight against climate change. However, the scale of the challenge is such that it demands a significant financial investment.
A detailed study by Wetlands International and Global Peatlands Initiative approximates that the cost of restoring a hectare of degraded peatland varies between $2,000 to $10,000, depending heavily on the location, degree of degradation, and specific restoration measures required.
Using a conservative average of $5,000 per hectare, this implies that the total cost to restore all degraded peatlands globally could amount to approximately $230 billion.
“Restoring all degraded peatlands globally is an essential task”.
It’s a staggering figure, but let’s put it into perspective. Globally, in 2020, fossil fuel subsidies amounted to around $5.2 trillion, according to the International Monetary Fund. In essence, if we diverted just a fraction of these subsidies, we could fully fund the restoration of all degraded peatlands.
The financial quantum needed is significant, but the rewards are even greater – resilient ecosystems, reduced greenhouse emissions, protection of biodiversity, and a sustainable future for generations to come. It’s time we invest not just in short-term economic growth, but long-term planetary health.