UNFCCC emission statistics for Europe (2015)

European greenhouse gas emissions from drained peatlands

3 % of global land area is covered by peatlands. Although forests cover ten times the land area, more carbon is sequestered in peatlands worldwide than in forests. Globally, 15 % of all peatlands are drained and are primarily used for agriculture and forestry. This land use of drained peatlands accounts for 5% of total anthropogenic (human-induced) greenhouse gas emissions.

95% of these emissions are caused by 25 parties (36 countries including the EU) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The hotspots of emissions include Indonesia, the European Union and Russia. The European Union accounts for a substantial 17% of global organic soil emissions. 99 % of these emissions are caused by 16 member states, the most significant of which include Finland, Germany, Poland and Sweden.

Emissions in relation to


  1. Wetlands International (2016) Peat for speed in land sector mitigation and adaption.
    IMCG Bulletin November 2016.
  2. Global Peatland Database. Greifswald Moor Centrum.
  3. Joosten, H., Tanneberger, F. & Moen, A. (Hrsg.)(2017) Mires and peatlands of Europe - Status,
    distribution and conservation. Schweitzerbart Science Publishers, Stuttgart. 780 p.
  4. Tanneberger, F. et al. (2017) The peatland map of Europe. Mires and Peat, 19(22), 1-17.
    DOI: 10.19189/MaP.2016.OMB.264