Recommendations from IKEM and GMC

Fact Sheet: Recommendations on the protection of peatlands

Anklamer Stadtbruch

In order to use the potential of peatlands for climate protection in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, a state climate change law should be developed that sets emission reduction targets and instruments with explicit reference to peatlands. This is a key recommendation of the new fact sheet published today by the Greifswald Mire Centrum (GMC) and the Institute for Climate Protection, Energy and Mobility (IKEM): Drained peatlands in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern are responsible for one third of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions. Stopping the drainage of peatlands is therefore a central building block for achieving the climate protection goals.

With approx. 6 million tons of CO2 equivalents, drained and primarily agriculturally used peatlands represent the single biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Calculations by the GMC show that the peatlands in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern thus release significantly more greenhouse gases than the forests can bind – unlike to Germany as a whole. In order to reduce CO2 emissions to net zero by 2050 in line with the Paris Climate Agreement, the drainage of peatlands in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern must therefore be reversed and 8,500 hectares of peatland must be rewetted annually from now on.

For this, GMC and IKEM recommend in a new fact sheet the development of a state climate protection law, in which the climate protection potential of the peatlands is adequately considered. Three key recommendations were formulated for addressing peatland climate change mitigation opportunities in such a law:

  1. Ambitious emission reduction pathways
    Establish concrete and timed reduction targets for organic soils in the state climate protection law; emissions from drained peatlands must be almost completely reduced by 2050 at the latest through rewetting.
  2. Binding climate protection measures
    Elaboration of concrete measures and instruments to achieve mitigation targets in all sectors, integration of a binding peatland climate protection program to implement the transformation of peatland use, and a higher commitment in the state parliament.
  3. Public sector as positive role model
    State and local governments should move forward on their own peatlands, which are estimated to account for a quarter of the total peatland area; raise water levels in peatlands on public sector properties to ground level particularly quickly.

As a federal state rich in peatlands, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern bears a special responsibility for achieving climate protection goals in the “Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry” (LULUCF). Binding targets for this sector were recently set for the first time as part of the amendment to the Federal Climate Change Act. For Mecklenburg-Vorpommern there is an urgent need to plan and ambitiously pursue peatland climate protection in a concrete and binding way.

Here you can find the complete fact sheet: Link


IKEM – Institute for Climate Protection, Energy and Mobility e.V.