Peatland Burning

Thank you for getting in touch with me about the important issue of peatland burning.

Our peatlands are an incredibly important, whether as a habitat for rare and important wildlife and plants, or absorbing carbon from the atmosphere. Scottish Labour fully understands the significance of Scotland’s peatlands and the vital role they play in our natural environment. The UK’s peatland stores more carbon than all our forests put together, and it can play a key role in reducing emissions.

Peatland covers 20% of Scotland’s land, accounting for the majority of the UK’s peatland. However, according to WWF, 80% of Scotland’s peatland is degraded, affecting its ability to capture carbon, provide home for wildlife and produce clean water. I am fully committed to protecting and restoring our Peatlands.

Scottish Labour’s Climate Recovery Plan included peatland restoration and measures to end commercial peat extraction.

Scottish Labour supports a general presumption against burning deep peat on driven grouse moors and a review of burning on deep peat with the possibility of a ban as one of a range of options for further legislation.

It is encouraging to see that the Scottish Government have proposed to license muirburn and to ban burning on the peatlands, however we would like to see this done as urgently as possible and before the 2022 muirburn season.

Scottish Labour will continue to fight to protect Scotland’s natural environment and call for ambitious action to ensure we can meet our climate targets.