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Protect peatlands to achieve climate goals | Science




Peatlands cover 3 to 4% of the world’s terrestrial surface (1) but store 25% of total soil carbon (600 GtC) (2), double the global forest carbon sink (3). Peatlands are thus a key potential nature-based solution for climate change mitigation. However, widespread degradation resulting from centuries of peat disturbance, including extraction and agricultural expansion, undermines their ability to capture carbon (4). The 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) missed an important opportunity by highlighting forests but not peatlands in the Global Stocktake. The implementation of less intensive agricultural practices and more conservation and restoration (4, 5), driven by evidence-based decision-making, can ensure the resilience of global peatland carbon storage.



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