The Environmental Protections Agency's National Inventory Report 2020 sets out emissions from different land use sectors. While wetlands, which covers areas used for peat production, was a net emitter of approximately 1.5 Mt CO2 equivalent in 2018, bog rehabilitation and restoration will playa key role in tackling our climate and biodiversity challenges in the coming decades.
To support the role of peatlands in providing nature-based solutions to tackle climate change,the Government, in November 2020, approved funding of up to €108m for Bord Na Móna's Enhanced Decommissioning, Rehabilitation and Restoration Scheme. This scheme will support a just transition in the Midlands region, while protecting the storage of 100m tonnes of carbon and avoiding the release of a further 3.2m tonnes out to 2050; enhance biodiversity; create jobs; and contribute to Ireland's objective of being climate-neutral by 2050.
While my Department has no direct role in relation to the horticulture sector, a working group is being established by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage to examine the future role of peat in the horticulture sector, with the focus on identifying alternatives for peat-use in horticulture.