Ireland is home to a significant portion of Europe's peatlands. Owing to their carbon-capturing properties, peatlands have the potential to reduce Ireland’s green house gas emissions by 5%. Peatland Finance Ireland (PFI) is developing an innovative, multi-stakeholder model for funding and rewarding peatland restoration.
Owing to a mild and wet climate, Ireland retains much of its functional peatlands and its deep peat raised bogs cover up to 1.5 million hectares. In addition to their impressive ability to store carbon when in a good condition, peatlands can provide flood attenuation, water filtration, and places for leisure and recreation which contribute to the wellbeing of communities. However, much of Ireland’s peatlands are partially degraded or unprotected, so in their current state they actually emit more than 2.3 MtCO2 per year. Peatland restoration offers a huge opportunity for climate action, and biodiversity protection at a national level, but it is not sufficiently incentivised.
The Bog Road, Connemara, Ireland. © Bruno Biancardi
PFI will establish and ensure the management of a national and catchment scale financing system for peatland restoration in Ireland. The project has the backing of the Irish government, and is being developed by the University of Dublin, the Lab, and a consortium of partners from across the forest, energy, agriculture and water sectors, with the participation of community representatives. The aim is for commercially-viable, community-led peatland restoration to improve habitats and make positive economic contributions to local communities, as well as support country’s meeting of national emissions and biodiversity targets, and contribute to Ireland’s obligations under the new EU Restoration Directive.
In Phase I, PFI devised a financial model that would secure significant carbon investment from restoration efforts. Phase II was launched in November 2022 with funding from the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, and the European Investment Advisory Hub (EIAH) of the European Investment Bank (EIB). The core goal of this phase is to test the model, and develop a national peatland carbon code to facilitate and manage private investment. Representative pilots sites will act as case studies for PFI to confirm its methodologies, and the result will provide the framework for future financing of community-led, restoration projects across the country.
Wetlands & Peatlands
Carbon storage and/or sequestration
Payment for Ecosystem Services Programmes
Green economy landscape
Ecosystem restoration landscape
Next funding milestone
1.5 million Euros
Sustainable Development Goals