Date lodged: 20 September 2016
To ask the Scottish Government how greenhouse gas savings from the restoration of degraded peat compare with potential savings from tree planting.
Answered by: Roseanna Cunningham 28 September 2016
Both tree planting and peatland restoration can provide greenhouse gas savings. However it is not possible to provide a strict comparison as to the relative scale of greenhouse gas benefits as this will depend on a wide variety of factors such as soil type and condition and type of tree being planted. The level of greenhouse gas sequestration for both will build up over time.
Greenhouse gas estimates for peatland restoration are currently in the process of being finalised but the estimates provided by ClimateXChange for the second Report on Policies and proposals suggested peatland would deliver net emission reductions of 1.5 tCO2e/ha (cumulative) over five years; 12 tCO2e/ha over 15 years, 21 tco2e/ha over 20 years and 32.5 tCO2e over 25 years. We expect to see updated estimates later this year.
On average the Greenhouse gas savings from tree planting would be 4.25 tco2e/ha (cumulative) over five years; 55.5 tco2e/ha over 15 years; 161.5 tco2e/ha over 20 years and 283 tco2e/ha over 25 years.