Carbon Connects is an Interreg North-West Europe project focused on peatland restoration whose original four-year duration has been extended until December 2023.
At a global level, peatlands store at least 550 gigatonnes of carbon, equivalent to more than twice the carbon stored in all forests or 75% of all carbon in the atmosphere. When degraded, these peatlands emit carbon into the atmosphere, but they can also contribute to avoided emissions when restored.
Making restoration projects and sustainable peatland farming activities economically viable requires external funding. Therefore, Carbon Connects aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from drainage practices while proposing new viable and sustainable economic models for peatland use. Led by partners from Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands and the UK, the Carbon Connects project has been able to manage and innovate ten pilot sites in north-western Europe.
After four years, the project has now entered the capitalisation phase, with a full focus on providing new financial incentives to facilitate peatland restoration. Many private companies today could invest in peatland restoration to meet their carbon offset targets, but lack connections, financial mechanisms and a sufficiently reliable framework for certifying carbon credits. A Market Acceleration Board has been set up within the project to initiate a dialogue on this subject.
Through this approach, the Carbon Connects project has effectively established a direct connection between investors, brokers, and land managers.
We are continuing our efforts in peatland restoration as an associated partner at the Interreg NEW project Buffer+