Bord na Mona has confirmed it has stopped harvesting peat for good
The familiar site of Bord na Mona's peat briquette is to disappear from fuel stores and fireplaces after the company announced it has stopped peat harvesting for good.
The firm's decision also means an end to the cutting of peat for use in compost for gardening and horticulture as the company moves towards a more renewable forms of energy production.
Bord na Móna informed staff and unions of the decision last night.
Making the announcement, Chief Executive Tom Donnellan said: “The Brown to Green strategy has involved the transformation of Bord na Móna from a traditional peat business into a climate solutions company.
"The progress made over the past two years means we are now fully focused on renewable energy generation, recycling and the development of other low carbon enterprises.
"While there are many advantages to the changes we have made, the key benefits include the high value, sustainable employment we are providing and the significant support we are delivering to Ireland’s objective, to become carbon neutral by 2050.
The move comes as pressure grows on companies and countries to end fossil fuel use and cut carbon emissions as the climate crisis intensifies.
“As we have put our new climate focused business in place, we have also completely stopped a number of high carbon operations and transitioned others to a more sustainable model. During this period, peat harvesting has already been wound down and stopped," he added.
"The company’s last full peat harvest took place in 2018, followed by a partial harvest in 2019 and a full suspension of harvesting operations last year. The company has today decided to make this suspension permanent and cease any remaining harvesting preparations, including planning and substitute consent applications. Today marks the formal end to the company’s association with peat harvesting, as we move on to tackle the critical challenges concerning climate change, energy supply, biodiversity and the circular economy”.
Bord na Móna recently launched a Peatland Restoration Plan of international significance.
The plan, which involves an investment of €115 million, will harness the natural power of peatlands to secure a store of over 100m tonnes of carbon in perpetuity, cut emissions and capture millions of tonnes more in the coming years. The plan also secures employment for 350 employees previously engaged in peat harvesting activities.