Rewilding in the UK and climate breakdown
This report from UK charity Rewilding Britain argues that rewilding peatlands, heathland, native woodlands, saltmarshes, wetlands and coastal waters in the UK could sequester carbon and also produce other benefits such as flood mitigation, enhanced biodiversity and water quality improvement.
The report outlines a proposed new subsidy scheme that would incentivise landowners to use rewilding to sequester carbon and restore degraded ecosystems on their land.
The report estimates that spending £1.9 billion to support land-based sequestration could result in 47 million tonnes of CO2 being sequestered each year (more than one tenth of current UK emissions). For context, current agricultural subsidies in the UK under the Common Agricultural Policy cost around £3 billion each year.
Europe is the world's second-smallest continent by surface area, covering just over 10 million square kilometres or 6.8% of the global land area, but it is the third-most populous continent after Asia and Africa, with a population of around 740 million people or about 11% of the world's population. Its climate is heavily affected by warm Atlantic currents that temper winters and summers on much of the continent. In the European Union, farmers represent only 4.7% of the working population, yet manage nearly half of its land area.