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Peat and Do Not Significant Harm guidelines for Just Transition Fund

Luonnonsuojeluliiton mielestä oikeudenmukaisen siirtymän rahoja ei tule antaa minkäänlaiselle suon avaamiselle haittojen välttämis -periaatteen takia.

11.6.2021

Dear Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius

Peat and Do Not Significant Harm guidelines for Just Transition Fund

Suomen luonnonsuojeluliitto (The Finnish Association for Nature Conservation) is worried about the possibility of using Just Transition Fund money to peat extraction in Finland.

As Finland is gradually giving up burning peat for energy this has created a need for new livelihood for the people involved in the peat industry. Majority of the peat extracted each year is burnt, but some of it is used as growing media or animal bedding. New ways to use peat and new peat products such as biostimulants and active charcoal are also being developed in Finland.

We are worried about the initiatives to find new ways to use peat and the continuation of the old ones because they would continue to cause the same negative impacts on the environment as earlier. Peat extraction destroys peatland ecosystems and habitats. It causes leaching of nutrients and dissolved
organic matter and carbon to waters. In addition, it causes carbon dioxide emissions from the drained soils. All peat products should be replaced with more sustainable alternatives.
The Finnish peatlands have been under pressure for decades because of draining for agriculture, forestry and peat extraction. 54% of the peatland habitats are endangered and the GHG emissions from peatland soils in Finland are around 15 M tons of CO2-eqv. each year. We need to stop draining and exploitation of peatlands, protect the most valuable areas and start to restore the degraded
peatland ecosystems.
Do No Significant Harm is an important principle that should be followed considering all the funding.
Because of the reasons given above funding from the just transition fund (JTF) should not be given for developing new peat products as extraction of peat is not in line with the DNSH principle.
Further information
– Liisa Toopakka, Climate Policy Officer, liisa.toopakka a sll.fi, +358 40 5042 989

Yours sincerely

SUOMEN LUONNONSUOJELULIITTO RY

Harri Hölttä            Tapani Veistola
Chairman Acting    Executive Director

Lisätietoja

Suojeluasiantuntija Liisa Toopakka

  • +358405042989
  • liisa.toopakka(a)sll.fi

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