UK peatland restoration: some economic arithmetic
Over 80% of UK peatlands are degraded to some extent and their widespread restoration could contribute to meeting various climate change, water quality and biodiversity policy challenges. Economic analysis of costs and benefits is, however, hampered by scientific uncertainty and a lack of data on biophysical conditions as well as the impacts and costs of restoration. This paper presents a simple ‘ready-reckoner’ of possible net economic benefits under different combinations of simplifying ‘what if?’ assumptions for key restoration parameters. The results strongly suggest that even a narrow focus on carbon benefits alone is sufficient to justify restoration in many cases, and the inclusion of possible additional non-carbon benefits reinforces this. However, results are sensitive to assumptions and better data for, in particular, restoration costs associated with modest emission savings from lightly degraded sites would be helpful. Some other areas for further research are also identified. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Journal Title/Title of Proceedings
Science of the Total Environment