We have plenty of innovative solutions to climate change. Many of them are not put to use because we do not know how to apply them properly. See, for instance, the peatlands policy, write sustainability scientists Jerry van Dijk, Hens Runhaar, René Verburg and Marko Hekkert of Utrecht University.
This blog was published on 4 December 2018 on the climate blog of the NRC.
Dutch peatlands are not only extremely sensitive to the consequences of climate change, but they are also significant contributors to the problem itself. Peatlands are composed of non-degraded plant residue that, long before the land was reclaimed, absorbed carbon from the atmosphere and sequestered it in the vast marshlands that made up the lowland Netherlands at the time.
It is estimated that the upper 30 centimetres of these peaty soils alone hold the equivalent of some 270 megatonnes of CO2, which is about 1.5 times the current annual greenhouse gas emission for the entire Netherlands. This is fine as long as it stays there; except it doesn’t.