I was part of a delegation that briefed the Defra Minister, Rory Stewart, MP in London yesterday about peatland management and the application of the Peatland Code. The others present included Edward van Cutsem (Mossdale Estate), Tom Surrey (Defra), Alex Lawson (Savills), Alastair Martin (Duchy of Cornwall), Roddy Gow (Canongate Partners + IUCN), Clifton Bain (IUCN), the Minister, Johnny Hughes (IUCN), Peter Nixon (National Trust).
The numbers about peatland are compelling: if 100,000ha of degraded peatland is restored, over 30 years the restoration work will result in a net reduction of about 30MT CO2 equiv of emissions to the atmosphere, at a cost in the region of £300m. These are scary numbers, but against the scenario of the Government's commitment to reducing CO2 emissions the figures represent a cost of £13.50 /T CO2 equiv removed. When compared with the cost of reducing carbon emissions by other means, the peatland option becomes more attractive.
It has been a busy couple of days: on Thursday, we organised a briefing about the Moorland Forum's Understanding Predation project for MSPs in the Scottish Parliament. See the the Understanding Predation blog for details. It is good that the Trust is getting into the 'corridors of power'. We know that our ideas have value but this is of no benefit unless we tell people. These sort of excursions allow us to get the HT message direct into the heart of policy formation.