Recent Debate on Peat Exploitation in Finland

Raimo Heikkilä, Outi Ratamäki, Tapio Lindholm

Proceedings of the 14th International Peat Congress


biodiversity, climate-change, fuel-peat, mire-strategy, water-quality

Heikkilä et al 2012: Recent Debate on Peat Exploitation in Finland


Theme II. Peat for horticulture, energy and other uses



Peat is a domestic source of energy corresponding to about 6% of energy production in Finland. It is important especially in producing heat for towns and cities. On the other hand, fuel peat utilization corresponds to about 20% of CO2 emissions from energy production, which accelerates climate change. Even though only about 2% of the mire area of Finland is used for peat mining, the impacts on biodiversity and locally on water quality are considerable, as well as on recreation. Therefore a strategy for mires and peatlands was prepared in 2011 under the leadership of the Ministry for Agriculture and Forestry. Various ministries and institutes as well as stakeholders were involved. Nature conservationists have criticized the strategy, and during the latest year the debate has been very intensive.