Smoke on water: countering global threats from peatland loss and degradation - A rapid response assessment

More than 180 countries have peatlands but we are only just starting to understand their role in both climate change and our efforts to curb it. Peatlands cover less than three percent of the Earth’s surface but are the largest terrestrial organic carbon stock – storing twice as much carbon as in the world’s forests. In fact, greenhouse gas emissions from drained or burned peatlands account for five percent of the global carbon budget. This first report from the Global Peatlands Initiative highlights why the threat to peatlands from agriculture, forestry, resource extraction and infrastructure development is a threat to the climate.